The threat of a population that is growing old
When World War I started in 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the world population did not exceed 1.1 billion people. In 2000, in a hospital of the same city, the Secretary General of the UN received in his arms baby number 6 billion.
We can only face this drama of unimaginable proportions by educating women, by promoting them for jobs and for positions of responsibility that belong to them. These positions are as important as those men occupy. There is a golden rule to prove this: in all countries where women have access to that natural right there is no demographic explosion. On the opposite, in all those rich and developed countries, the problem is the progressive and unavoidable threat of a population that is growing old.
None of the UN agencies have stopped alerting about this subject to politicians and the people responsible for the economy that exploits the globalization attained with the new technologies in a savage neoliberal model that makes the rich richer and impoverishes the poor until they reach misery. The 20/80 formula is scandalous: 20 percent of the population lives well and the rest of humanity suffers.
We must remember that the 1998 UNDP Report said that with 40 billion dollars every year over a period of a decade world hunger would be extinguished, basic health care covered, we would have the necessary clean water and the sanitary infrastructures, the reproductive health of women insured and all human beings would have access to basic education.
The education and the promotion of women as the spinal cord of development in impoverished countries are necessary to face the catastrophe that threatens Humanity. That number is inferior to the 50 billion dollar increase that the US government has approved, for each year, for defense budget, plus the millions approved for the fight against terrorism to control the energy resources of the planet.
That is an authentic act of terrorism by the United Status and the inefficient European Union that is not capable of acting with coherence.
Many people wonder what the function is of so many massive Summits that do not sign anything that they hadnít negotiated beforehand to fill their particular interests. It is a dangerous provocation to the masses of desperate people who donít have anything to lose and who can choose to die with destruction.
Since the 1995 Copenhagen Summit, Butros Galli alerted of the social explosion that is coming. In the Monterrey Summit we witnessed the shame of the despise towards his warnings and to those of the multitudes of civil society that have become authentic movements of global resistance in front of this inhumane despotism.
Let us remember the ten proposals of these social forums: to condone the debt of the poorest countries; to negotiate a generous system to regulate the debt of the rest of the developing countries; that future investments serve a sustainable development model; that the richest countries destine 0.7 percent of their wealth to finance the development of the developing countries, which was denied to them in the Monterrey Summit; to revise the exchange between North and this south that sustains the development of the rich countries with raw materials, the interest rates of the debt and the systematic exploitation; to guarantee the alimentary autonomy in each countries; to charge taxes to financial transactions of speculation; to extinguish fiscal paradises and to prohibit bank secrecy that allows the laundry of trillions of dollars and that are the product of drug and weapon trafficking.
From now until the year 2050 there will be more 60 year-old people than people 15 years-old or younger. The population increase of elderly people has been constant since 1950. There are more than 600 million elderly people nowadays, three times more than 50 years ago. In 2050 there will be 2 billion elderly people. That is, 21 percent of the population.
The socioeconomic consequences on the markets, the retirement payments and economic growth will be felt stronger each day. Who will work to fulfill so many needs?
Japan, with an average age of 45 is the oldest population of the Herat, followed by Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Yemen, Niger and Uganda have the youngest average age of 15 years. Spain will be the dean of humanity with an average of 55 years before three decades pass if immigrants donít change the path.
It is opportunistic to remember those criteria when considering phenomena such as immigration, a sustainable social development in impoverished countries, the spending in weapons and in a model of development of which nature will take revenge if we donít respond with generosity and justice to its requirements.
The major threat for Humanity is not terrorism or mass destruction weapons: itís demographic explosion with the progressive growing old of the population.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez