October 17: Rights and choice are at the centre of the mandate of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. The rights of people to decide for themselves if and when to marry or be in a partnership; whether and when to have children, and how many.
For women, reproductive rights and choice are key to genuine gender equality and empowerment – the achievement of which is a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 underpinning Sustainable Development Goals with their ultimate pledge to leave no one behind.
I am profoundly saddened by the sudden passing of my good colleague and friend, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. I offer sincere condolences to his family, to the staff of UNFPA, to the Government and people of Nigeria, and to all those around the world touched by this loss.
The world has lost a great champion of health and well-being for all.
Dr. Babatunde was admired globally for his leadership of the UN Population Fund and for his forceful advocacy for the world’s women and girls in particular.
Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are among the most important, and often sensitive, on the international agenda; Dr. Babatunde’s calm yet ardent efforts helped families get the sexual and reproductive health services they need, and helped the world advance the landmark 1994 Cairo Programme of Action on Population and Development. His voice was invaluable over the years, including his time as Nigeria’s Minister of Health, in pressing for family planning, women’s education, children’s health and action on HIV/AIDS as vital ingredients in human progress.
At this moment of sorrow, let us give thanks for Babatunde’s life of service.
Monday 27 March 6–7.30pm
Molonglo Theatre, ANU Registration at crawford.anu.edu.au/news-events E firstname.lastname@example.org T 6125 4387
This lecture is free and open to the public.
“Tackling Global Health”
Dr Osotimehin is a global leader with expertise in public health, women’s empowerment and young people. He has a particular focus on promoting human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Dr Osotimehin has introduced reforms that have increased the effectiveness and efficiency of UNFPA and outlined a more robust vision for improving the lives of women, adolescents and youth around the world. His leadership and advocacy with governments and other key stakeholders will continue to focus on youth and voluntary family planning. He is also steering UNFPA’s humanitarian action and efforts around eliminating gender-based violence and other harmful practices.
Humanitarian situations and fragile communities are going to increase, and in the Pacific region, this will be compounded by population movements as the tentacles of climate change reach into the heart of personal and food security. As it is, root crops typically grown in smaller Pacific islands and atolls are being progressively damaged and already indicating the high cost of living as salinized water tables, pushed up by rising sea levels, propel people to imported food, inevitably changing nutrition and dietary habits. Continue reading →