The interlinkages between migration, urbanization, climate change and technological and demographic trends were raised at an event organized by Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) a member of Qatar Foundation during the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The meeting highlighted the New Urban Agenda and explored ways to achieve inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities, and envisaged several outcomes including underlining the impact of migration on transforming family structures and analyzing strategies for optimizing the benefits of technology while minimizing its drawbacks on family relationships. They also discussed the policy lessons learned from Asia that can be applied globally, and the potential contributions of global experiences to the Asian context, interlinkages between migration, urbanization, new technologies, and climate change, said the statement issued by Qatar Foundation.
The event was held in partnership with the National Population and Family Development (LPPKN), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), the statement continued.
Director General of the National Population and Family Development Board Abdul Shukur Abdullah began the event by discussing families and megatrends, and the importance of understanding a rapidly and ever-changing world. "The four megatrends require proactive responses that create opportunities and challenges to shape our present and future," Abdullah said.
"The Expert Group Meeting provides excellent opportunities for us to take the necessary measures to tackle the remaining and emerging challenges towards achieving the New Urban Agenda. Malaysia is honored to be part of this program and we hope this fruitful collaboration will continue for many years as we unite in pursuit of common goals," he added.
Director of the Family Research and Policy Department at DIFI Dr. Khalid Al-Naama said, "The profound interaction between the megatrends, and the fixed family ties, constitutes a landscape of interconnected forces."
"As individuals migrate, cities develop, technology advances and demographics shift, families stand at the heart of these transformations," he added.
Speaking about families in Asia, Director of Communication and International Relations at IFFD Ignacio Socias said that they are facing a dynamic landscape shaped by the four megatrends globally that are being studied for the 30th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF).
"Demographic trends influence family structures and sizes, impacting social dynamics and resource allocation. The rapid integration of new technologies transforms daily life, altering communication patterns and access to information," he said.
"Migration patterns often lead to separated families, challenging traditional support systems and cultural norms. Urbanization brings opportunities and challenges, reshaping living environments and family lifestyles affecting the well-being of Asian families."
Focal Point of the Family at the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of UNDESA Renata Kaczmarska said, "As we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the IYF in 2024, we have been focusing on the impact of megatrends on families at regional levels. The Expert Group Meeting held in Malaysia has contributed to the understanding of the impact of megatrends on families, especially in terms of fertility and family formation in the region."
"The importance of investing in parenting education assisted by new technologies has been highlighted as needing cooperation between Government agencies, civil society, academia, and the private sector in overall family policy development and implementation," she concluded. (QNA)
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