Expert group meeting on policy responses to low fertility

New York 

02 November 2015 to 03 November 2015


The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, jointly with the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, is organizing an expert group meeting on “Policy responses to low fertility” that will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during 2-3 November 2015. The expert group meeting will build on a series of 18 papers that have been prepared by academic experts from countries of Asia, Europe and North America, with funding support from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) through the East-West Center.
The purpose of the expert group meeting is to broaden the discussion and the impact of these studies by involving other stakeholders, including academics, policymakers, and representatives of selected UN agencies and international organizations. The meeting aims to distil lessons learned and policy guidance for countries experiencing low fertility and the consequent ageing of their populations, and for those that are likely to face these challenges in the not too distant future.


Organization of work

Monday, 02 November 2015


09:00 – 09:30


Session I: Opening of the meeting

  • John Wilmoth, Population Division, UNDESA. Welcome
  • Minja Kim Choe, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI. Overview of the project on Policy Responses to Low Fertility
  • Vinod Mishra, Population Division, UNDESA. Scope and objectives of the meeting


09:30 – 11:00

Session II: Emergence of low fertility and its consequences

  • Chair: Sangho Kim, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA)


11:15 – 12:45

Session III: Responses to low fertility and population ageing  

  • Moderator: Renata Kaczmarska, Division for Social Policy and Development, UNDESA
  • Expert: Wendy Sigle, Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  • Expert: Maria Letizia Tanturri, University of Padova, Italy
  • Expert: Kyunghee Chung, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA)
  • Heonjoo Kim, Population and Child Policy Bureau, Republic of Korea, Policymaker perspective.
  • Ann Pawliczko, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Regional/global perspective


14:45 – 16:15

Session IV: Context and policy options in countries with very low fertility

  • Moderator: Nicolaas van Nimwegen, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
  • Expert: Gavin W. Jones, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, Australian National University
  • Expert: Pau Baizan-Munoz, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Expert: Samsik Lee, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA)
  • Kittipong Sae-Jeng, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. Policymaker perspective
  • Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich, United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe. Regional/global perspective.


16:30 – 18:00

Session V: Context and policy lessons from countries with near-replacement fertility

  • Moderator: Noriko O. Tsuya, Keio University, Japan
  • Expert: Melinda C. Mills, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

  • Expert: S. Philip Morgan, University of North Carolina, USA

  • Expert: Sarah Brauner-Otto, McGill University, Canada

  • Petter Odmark, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden. Policymaker perspective

  • Terry Hull, Australian National University, Regional/global perspective

Tuesday, 03 November 2015
09:00 – 10:30

Session VI: Policy options for countries approaching low fertility

  • Moderator: Feng Wang, University of California, Irvine and Fudan University, China



  • Expert: Zsolt Speder, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

  • Expert: Anne Gauthier, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute

  • Expert: Ignacio Pardo, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay Policymaker perspective: Jacques van Zuydam, Department for Social Development, South Africa

  • Fabiana Del Popolo, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional/global perspective


10:30 – 11:45

Session VII: Conclusions and recommendations

  • Chair: Rachel Snow, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


  • Renata Kaczmarska, Nicolaas van Nimwegen, Noriko Tsuya and Feng Wang. Lessons learned and key policy priorities: reports from session moderators (sessions III-VI: 5-7 minutes each)

  • Ronald R. Rindfuss, East-West Center and University of North Carolina; Minja Kim Choe, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI. Cross cutting issues

  • Stuart Basten, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Information gaps and data needs for monitoring policies


11:45 – 12:00

Session VIII: Closing

  • John Wilmoth, Population Division, UNDESA. Closing remarks

Other documents

Background materials