Leaders in the Philippines, India, the U.K., and Russia are all claiming that the world’s 7 billionth person was born in their country. The U.N. decided to hold official celebrations in Manila, where a baby girl named Danica May Camacho was born “amid an explosion of media flash bulbs” and “a celebratory cheer at a packed government-run hospital,” according to the French news service, AFP.
The New York Times reported that an official from the U.N. who was present for Danica’s birth said it was “a symbolic event, a call to action for everyone that we’re now seven billion in the world and we have responsibilities” – yet the health minister for the Philippines left the symbolism out of his statement: “We just welcomed the seven billionth human being.”
The U.N. intended to mark the event by highlighting the fragility of the earth’s resources and the problems our exponential growth is causing. However, combining this message with celebratory births in the media led to some mixed messages – are we celebrating or are we concerned for the future?