The UN debate of the day: Where is the 7 billionth baby born?

From our UN-correspondent: In 1999, the UN decided the 6 billionth (is it 6 billionth or 6th billion or 6th billionth?) human being would be born in Sarajevo (picture). The fact that the Balkan area was still recovering from a nasty war, made that decision easy.

For months now, the UN member states have been debating when and where the 7 billionth member of our human community was to be born.

The US veto'd any country which had more than 10% of muslim population, forgetting that would not only outrule the Middle East, half of Asia and Africa, but at the same time would make most of European countries un-eligible.

It seems most other UN member states agreed the 7 billionth baby should be put somewhere with a symbolic value, a developing country. So most member states voted for the US, as a country with the world's highest rate of food-stamp-dependent people, though China veto-ed.

The finger was then pointed at Somalia, but the chances were the baby was going to die pre-maturely from malnutrition, shelling by Kenyan fighter planes, or in the hands of Al-Shabaab, Al Bashaab and Al Babaash extremists, thus limiting the PR-value of the baby. It was agreed the baby had to exceed a lifespan of at least six months. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq were consequently immediately ruled out. Most of the ex-USSR satellite states too, as nobody would be able to pinpoint Armenia or Uzbekistan on the map.

Sudan was a good candidate, but when the UN called Sudan's president Al Bashir, the latter did not pick up. He does not pick up anymore if he sees the UN's number on his cell phone.

The big runner-up was the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing the baby was not to be born in the East, which was too difficult to access, for the press, and too vulnerable for tribal areas. The baby was to be a good vehicle for a PR machine on the plight of sexual abuse of Congo's women and blood minerals (though they are still trying to make the link with the latter).

So after months of hot debates, the member states decided, but they are still awaiting Ban ki-Moon's decision.  Which could take years, even though today was chosen as the "7th billion"-day. 

Picture courtesy BBC


Amanda Thorsteinsson 01 November, 2011 15:40  

OH my goodness--a bit confused for a minute, and then I caught on. Interesting thoughts on the choice to name a 7-billionth child!

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