MEDIA ADVISORY, (christiansunite.com) -- In a speech late last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to raise the nation's birthrate by up to 30% in just three years. Due to a rapidly falling fertility, Russia has experienced a dramatic population decline, going from 148.5 million people in 1995 to 143 million today. Unofficial estimates indicate that there are nearly 4 million abortions per year in Russia yet only 1.7 million live births.
Putin's plan calls for spending the equivalent of 33 billion pounds to encourage Russian families to have more children. Click here for coverage of the prime minister's remarks.
WCF Managing Director Larry Jacobs says that more than cash incentives and government benefits will be needed to raise Russia's well-below-replacement birth rate.
Against this backdrop, the World Congress of Families will hold the world's first demographic summit - "Moscow Demographic Summit: Family and the Future of Humankind" - at the Russian State Social University (RSSU), June 29-30.
RSSU is one of Russia's largest public universities, with over 100,000 students, and the nation's leading institution for educating social workers.
Jacobs noted: "The Summit will include discussions of The Demographic Potential of Russia - The Importance of Pro-Family Public Policy in Russia and the West - Demographic Indicators of Developed and Developing Nations - The Crisis of Family: Marriage, Abortion, Contraception - Population Control - Influence of Demographics on Economic Processes - Human Capital and Family-Friendly Business Practices - Population Aging and Ways to Overcome Demographic Challenges."
An array of prominent Russian speakers will include: Metropolitan Hilarion (Foreign Affairs coordinator of the Russian Orthodox Church), Dr. Zhukov V.I. (Rector of RSSU), Bishop Panteleimon (Russian Orthodox Church Social and Charitable Activities), Fr Dimitry Smirnov (ROC - Bioethics Commission), Natalia Yakunina (Sanctity of Motherhood Program, Center of National Glory), Fr Maxim Obukhov (ROC - Pro-Life Activities), Rostislav Ordovsky-Blanco (owner of Rosinter restaurant chain), Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (Relations of ROC and Society), Professor Anatoly Antonov (demographer, Moscow State Lomonosov University) and Igor Beloborodov, PhD (Institute of Demographic Research).
International Speakers confirmed include: Anna Zaborska (Member EU Parliament), Allan Carlson, Larry Jacobs and Don Feder (World Congress of Families), Patrick Fagan (Family Research Council), Steven Mosher (Population Research Institute), Philip Longman (New America Foundation), and Janice Shaw Crouse (Concerned Women for America).
Invited speakers include demographers, sociologists, economists, scholars, elected officials and leaders from around the world.
Jacobs noted the Summit comes at a crucial time. "It's not Russia alone that's experiencing demographic winter," Jacobs observed. "Worldwide, birthrates have declined by more than 50% since the late 1960s. By the year 2050, there will be 248 million fewer children under 5 years-old in the world than there are today. This birth dearth will be one of the greatest challenges confronting humanity in the 21st. century."
Jacobs said special thanks go to Alexey Komov - head of the WCF Representative Office in Russia and the CIS, and organizer of the Demographic Summit - and Russian State Social University Rector Vasily I. Zhukov.
To learn more about World Congress of Families (www.worldcongress.org). For the website of the Moscow Demographic Summit (www.worldcongress.ru).
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The WCF was founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois. To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families - Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw, Poland (2007) and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009). World Congress of Families VI will be held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.