September 29th, 2009 | Posted in PRB News
by Nadwa Mossaad, research associate, Domestic Programs
Yesterday marked the opening ceremony of the 26th International Union for the Study of Population (IUSSP) in the ancient red city of Marrakech, located in the center of Morocco bordering the Sahara desert on the foot of the Atlas Mountains.
The opening ceremony was impressive, with over 2,300 participants from more than 100 countries — the largest ever in the history of IUSSP. The ceremony was marked by speeches from the International Organizing Committee’s president Ahmed lahlimi Alami, IUSSP president John Cleland, UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid, former director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for the Arab States Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, and finally from his Majesty the King of Morocco, all highlighting the importance of demographic research in alleviating poverty, increasing education, and advancing women’s rights and human development while paying close attention to the environment and climate change.
The meeting’s theme is as varied as the history, culture, and demography of the people of the host country this year. The discussions and presentations will range from the usual to the new and groundbreaking to the controversial, but the general sense is to discuss the challenges facing the world today and the upcoming decade, and to explore the renewed commitment of many stakeholders to appropriately address the issues.