With the recent passage of the 7 billion world population milestone, the challenges and opportunities brought about by population dynamics and demographic transformation have received heightened attention. In 2012, CEB enhanced its efforts in supporting Member States to address changing population patterns and their implications for poverty eradication and sustainable development. In response to General Assembly resolution 65/234 on the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014, CEB reflected on the issue of population dynamics and affirmed that addressing the variety of population challenges required a joint effort by all stakeholders. CEB noted the importance of increasing the effectiveness of the United Nations system in assisting countries to address these challenges, which impact on several aspects of sustainable development and are recognized as a cross-cutting issue in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

On behalf of CEB, the High-level Committee on Programmes, at its session in October 2012, reviewed and approved the proposal for the establishment of an ad hoc working group on “The world at 7 billion and beyond”. The primary goal of the work is to make ensure that population concerns become a systematic and integral analytical and programmatic lens through which the United Nations entities see their ongoing normative and operational work. The Ad Hoc Working Group is developing a set of tools and best practices that may help agencies in the integration of population dynamics in their work at different levels, including global strategic planning and policies, country programming and project-level activities.