Dili, April 24, 2023 – The Government of Timor-Leste and together with UNFPA today launched the 2023 Global State of the World Population report in an event held at the National Institute of Statistics (INETL) conference room in Caicoli Díli, formerly General Directorate of Statistics, ahead of the official release of the first digitalized Population and Housing Census detailed results in May 2023.
Data exposes population anxieties are widespread and governments are increasingly adopting policies aimed at raising, lowering or maintaining fertility rates. But efforts to influence fertility rates are very often ineffective and can erode women’s rights, according to UNFPA’s State of World Population report.
“Human reproduction is neither the problem nor the solution. When we put gender equality and rights at the heart of our population policies, we are stronger, more resilient, and better able to deal with the challenges resulting from rapidly changing populations.” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem during the global release of the report on April 19.
The landmark UNFPA report “8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: the case for rights and choices” calls for a radical rethink of how population numbers are framed – urging politicians and media to abandon overblown narratives about population booms and busts and focusing instead on rights and choices for all its citizens.
Timor-Leste, with one of the youngest populations in Asia, can benefit from investing in data such as population and censuses and in human capital to harness the potential of all its residents — including those that are traditionally marginalized like women, young people, the elderly and disabled.
“The launch of the State of World Population report comes ahead of the official launch of the first digitalized Population and Housing Census in Timor-Leste that will support the implementation of Timor-Leste’s National Strategic Development Plan for 2011-2030 and ensure that the needs of all citizens are included in development planning,” said Mr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira, Interim President, INETL.
Since 2004, UNFPA has continued to provide technical assistance to the Government of Timor-Leste through the General Directorate of Statistics (GDS) to conduct the census.