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UNFPA Myanmar Launch State of World Population 2011 Report 
and Welcome Myanmar’s 7 Billionth Baby

“People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion”

31 October 2011, Yangon, Myanmar

UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Immigration and Population, launched the State of World Population 2011 Report in Nay Pyi Taw, on 31 October 2011, the day when the world population reached 7 billion. In the afternoon of that day, UNFPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, celebrated the birth of a seven billionth baby at 1000-bedded hospital in Nay Pyi Taw.

Launching Ceremony of the State of World Population 2011 report (10:00 – 13:00 hrs)

The Launching Ceremony of the State of World Population 2011 report took place at the Thingaha Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw and was attended by about 60 participants consisting of representatives from embassies, UN agencies, government departments, NGOs/INGOs, civil society and five media groups based in Nay Pyi Taw. Dr. Maw Maw Aung, President of Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA) and Daw Khin May Soe of Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF) were among the participants.

The State of World Population 2011 is mainly a report from the field, from nine countries where the ordinary people , national experts, demographers and policymakers talk directly about their lives and work, and describe the obstacles they confront—and overcome—in trying to build better lives for themselves, their families, communities and nations. China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are the nine countries that shed light in the report on the real-life challenges they face in our world of 7 billion.

A world at 7 billion constitutes formidable challenges and enormous opportunities to chart a sustainable, equitable, healthy and socially just path to the future. “With planning and the right investments in people now—to empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves, but also for our global commons—our world of 7 billion can have thriving sustainable cities, productive labour forces that fuel economies, and youth populations that contribute to the well-being of their societies.” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in the foreword of the report, entitled People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion.

In his opening remarks, U Myint Kyaing, Director General of Department of Population, Ministry of Immigration and Population, highlighted trends in population growth since early 19 century and reminded that seven billion is about people and the impact of population increase in the world. He stressed that Myanmar is already experiencing demographic change resulting from decline in mortality and fertility. “Reaching seven billion is the result of personal choice and collective action to improve health, extend life span and raise individual expectations.” he added.

The report also shows that our record population size can be viewed in many ways as a success for humanity because it means that people are living longer and more of our children are surviving worldwide. But not everyone has benefited from this achievement or the higher quality of life that this implies. Great disparities exist among and within countries. Disparities in rights and opportunities also exist between men and women, girls and boys.

The report calls for investing in the health, education and employment of young people in order to yield enormous economic returns in economic growth and development for generations to come. Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, UNFPA Representative called for tearing down of the social, economic, cultural and legal barriers to ensure gender equality and end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls. He said: “We need to make motherhood safe by caring for pregnant women, preventing death in child birth and providing nutrition for mothers and babies. We have to protect our environment, provide clean water and energy and enough food and address the threat of climate change.”

To highlight Myanmar experiences, a round table discussion took place on four topics: Demographic Change; Maternal Death Review; Population and Development; and Reflections from Myanmar on the themes of the State of World Population Report . These topics were presented by U Nyi Nyi, Deputy Director of Department of Population, Dr. Theingi Myint, Deputy Director (MCH), Department of Health, Dr. Lay Kyi, Professor/Head, Department of Statistics, Yangon Institute of Economics and Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, UNFPA Representative in Myanmar respectively.

Panel discussion was facilitated by Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Senior Advisor to the UN Resident Coordinator, who highlighted the goal of the report and the expected outcomes of the round table : to reflect and draw lessons relevant to Myanmar from global trends; to identify actions towards sustainable economic and sustainable development; and to reiterate national commitments. A number of issues were raised, such as the need for: (a) more investments in job creation and social services, especially for 63 percent of the population aged 15-59 to reap the benefits of the demographic window of opportunity which would last only for two decades or so; (b) implementing active ageing policies; (c) promoting reproductive rights which would enable individuals and couples to decide on the number, timing and spacing of their children and having access to reproductive health information and services; and (d) improving access to youth-friendly reproductive health services.

Welcoming of the 7 Billionth Baby (14:00 - 16:00 hrs)

UNFPA and the Ministry of Health celebrated the birth of a seven billionth baby at 1000-bedded hospital in Nay Pyi Taw. Stakeholders from government, civil society and the UN attended the event.

A healthy baby (boy) “Kan Htoo Maung” weighing 6.82 lbs. was born at 2:30 a.m. on 31 October 2011 at “Myitta Sanyey” a health facility run by the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar capital. School children and the audience welcomed the baby and the parents with a song composed for this important occasion and showered the baby with gifts and honored him with a certificate.

To underscore UNFPA’s role in promoting “maternal and newborn health”, the health team who attended the delivery and Nan Than Than Oo, a midwife from the Tachileik Township, Eastern Shan State, who had won Global Health Workforce Alliance Award for 2011 were awarded with gifts at the ceremony.

At the ceremony, H.E. Dr. Win Myint, the Deputy Minister of Health said: “this event reminds us of our commitment towards a healthy and sustainable nation, to close the gap between rich and poor, and to chart a path towards development that promotes equality.”

Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, UNFPA Representative also stated that ensuring safe motherhood and universal access to reproductive health is the primary goal of UNFPA in Myanmar and throughout the world. To reiterate UNFPA and national commitment, he said: “Our common goal of improving maternal health and saving women’s and children’s lives can only be achieved if adequate resources are allocated by the government and the donor community and if the resources are optimally utilized.”

The 7 Billion Action movie dubbed in Myanmar script was featured at both events and shared with the electronic media for a nationwide airing. With emphasis on reproductive health and rights, a Myanmar song composed on 7 billion was shared with government and private radio stations. In order to suit the Myanmar country context, fact sheets on “world at 7 billion” produced by UNFPA HQ was translated and shared with print media and with youth and community volunteers who are affiliated with UNFPA’s projects throughout the country. In addition, the Executive Director’s statement and Op-ed piece and UNFPA press release on World at 7 billion have been circulated to the media and embassies.

Local journals, radio and TV covered the State of World Population 2011 launch and welcoming of the 7 Billionth baby.

Contact person: Daw Pansy Tun Thein, Assistant Representative, UNFPA (

Download related resources.
SOWP 2011 Report 
Press release (Myanmar CO)
7 Billion Song (Myanmar version) 
More photos at Photo Gallery
7 Billion Movie (Myanmar Narration) Part-I Part-II Part-III