Frost Over the World
The impact of population growth
As the world population reaches seven billion, the head of the UN Population Fund discusses the challenges lying ahead.
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2011 08:30

The world will be home to seven billion people on October 31, 2011, according to the United Nations, which also predicted the global population will reach about nine billion in 2050. The estimated spike has reignited debate over whether planet earth can sustain such a growing population.

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the head of the UN Population Fund, joins Sir David Frost to discuss food security and the challenges lying ahead in different parts of the world.

ETA, the armed ethnic Basque separatist group, is said to be responsible for a series of bombings, shootings, and robberies in a decades-long conflict with France and Spain.

But on October 20, 2011, ETA, which claims to seek independence in the face of widespread discrimination, announced a "definitive cessation of its armed activity", rather than mere ceasefires which were made and broken multiple times by the group since 1989.

Gerry Adams, the president of Ireland's Sinn Fein party who played a key role in brokering the historic development, talks about the "journey and process" of reaching the agreement and how it could mark the beginning of a new peaceful era. 

Even for someone who has won two Oscars, Emma Thompson's recent project has been remarkable. The actress travelled to Myanmar where she met Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the country's pro-democracy movement, who was only freed in 2010 after spending 15 years in detention. Emma Thompson talks to Sir David about meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, changes in Myanmar, and the purpose of her trip.

 Saving the eurozone

Famous for detective novels and other crime fiction, Michael Connelly is an award-winning American author who has had his books translated into 39 languages. He talks to Sir David about his latest book The Drop, his career and the public appetite for thrillers and crime fiction.

"We know what we have to do, but we don't know how to get re-elected if we do it," Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of eurozone finance ministers, reportedly said after last week's eurozone crunch meeting. In other words, the problem is not just the Euro, it is democracy. The markets seemed delighted with the deal, but were they right?

Alex Brummer, a Daily Mail City editor, discusses the recent eurozone rescue deal and its impact on the financial markets, China's role, and protests across the world.

As discussed in part one of this week's Frost, the world will be watching as the world's population is estimated to hit seven billion people this week. Many analysts, including Roger Martin, the chairman of Population Matters, a think tank concerned with population growth, have expressed increased fears over the predicted rate, warning of a consequential rise in poverty and hunger in the future. 

On the other hand, people like Brendan O'Neill, the editor of Spiked Online, oppose what they call a "population scaremongering" outlook. He says the real problem is a social problem and that calling it a demographic issue distracts the world from coming up with a genuine and progressive solution for the poverty across the world.

Martin and O'Neill join Sir David to discuss the impact of population growth and whether "more humans means less for them".  

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