Remarks at the Conclusion of the 50th UN Commission on Population and Development;

Laurie Shestack Phipps
Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs
New York City
June 13, 2017



Madam Chair, my delegation would like to express our gratitude to you and our co-facilitators from Jamaica and Netherlands, to our colleagues on the Commission, in the Secretariat, and to all of the staff at the Population Division and UNFPA for their hard work during the course of this week, as we gathered to discuss the changing age structures of populations and their implications for development. It is regrettable the Commission was unable to reach consensus after so much hard work on this important topic. The U.S. was prepared to go along with the compromise you discussed with delegations a few minutes ago after these final hours of negotiations. In future work, the Commission would be better served by staying more closely aligned with the theme.

The world is experiencing a uniquely historical change in population age structures. Crucially, for future improvement in quality of life, security, and stability for communities and countries around the world, we must all strive to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities demographic changes pose for us.

Early stage demographic transitions, currently taking place across the developing world, pose especially vital opportunities for growth and development. Turning demographic transitions into demographic dividends through improvements and investment in health, education, and family planning, as well as empowerment of women and girls, and marginalized and vulnerable groups, is essential. By harnessing the demographic dividend, countries can dramatically improve the wellbeing of their people, boost their economies, strengthen sustainable security, and increase peace and prosperity.

While many developing countries grapple with early and mid-stage demographic transitions, much of the developed world is experiencing the late-stages of such transitions. Now is the time for them to use the gains of their demographic dividends to provide support for increasing numbers of older persons, enabling them to continue to be productive and valued members of their communities.

Thank you, Madam Chair.