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UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

Annual Report 2004

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Building Support

Building Support

Men, women, communities and nations in all parts of the world celebrated the success of the Cairo consensus on population and development, recognizing its continued relevance and renewing the promise to achieve its goals. Strong statements of support were issued by governments, UN organizations, NGOs, the private sector, parliamentarians and individuals. Throughout 2004, they reaffirmed ICPD principles, objectives and actions and pledged both political and financial support to help realize its vision over the next decade.

Support for the work of UNFPA spoke to the depth and diversity of the working relationships forged by the Fund during the first decade of ICPD implementation. For UNFPA, the anniversary provided an opportunity to thank the many partners who have joined UNFPA over the years in efforts to improve quality of life, advance human rights and reduce poverty. UNFPA welcomed contributions from 166 countries in 2004 - a record number.

ICPD 10TH ANNIVERSARY

The United Nations General Assembly commemorated the 10th anniversary of the ICPD with a special observance on 14 October 2004. The event featured ministers and other officials from more than 60 countries who took the floor to publicly renew their countries' support for the ICPD Programme of Action. One highlight of the day-long meeting was a statement by world leaders affirming the vision of the Cairo plan and calling for funds to continue its implementation. Also featured were a round table on migration and an exhibition of photographs by Fazal Sheikh depicting the plight of refugees. Another global event was the March meeting of the Commission on Population and Development, which is one of the UN bodies responsible for reviewing and assessing ICPD implementation. A resolution of the Commission emphasized the importance of population and reproductive health for development.

States enthusiastically renewed their commitment to the ICPD Programme of Action at a series of regional review meetings in 2004. A preceding event was the Fifth Asia and Pacific Population Conference, held in December 2002 in Bangkok, Thailand. Hosted by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, it concluded with the adoption of a Plan of Action on population and poverty.

World Leaders

On the eve of a United Nations special session to review progress made over the past 10 years in meeting ICPD goals, a cross-section of world leaders issued a statement in support of the ICPD. Among those attending an October 13 press conference were (from left to right): Timothy Wirth, United Nations Foundation President; Hans van den Broek of the Netherlands, Special Envoy of the European Union Presidency; United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette; Ted Turner, Chairman of Turner Enterprises; and UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.
Photo: Ephrem Cruz/UNFPA

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GOVERNMENTS

A total of 166 countries contributed to UNFPA in 2004, a sign of increasing governmental support. The largest contribution for the year, more than $112 million in regular and earmarked contributions, came from the Netherlands Government.

The governments of 126 countries, areas and territories requested UNFPA assistance in 2004 to address reproductive health and population issues, and to raise awareness of these issues.

Parliamentarians expressed support for the ICPD plan at numerous events. In October, 130 parliamentarians and government ministers from 90 countries met in Strasbourg, France, at the 2004 International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action to review progress and reaffirm their commitment to the ICPD plan, issuing the Strasbourg Statement of Commitment. Also in October, a meeting of European Union development cooperation ministers, held near Maastricht, the Netherlands, reaffirmed reproductive health and rights as central to efforts to combat poverty and underlined the importance of Cairo to the MDGs.

An alliance of 20 developing countries committed to South-South collaboration on family planning and reproductive health marked its 10th anniversary in September. UNFPA joined Partners in Population and Development, formed at the ICPD in 1994, in launching South-South Day to celebrate partnerships that facilitate the exchange of know-how and experiences among developing countries.

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NGOs

Valued partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the local to global level used the ICPD anniversary as a vehicle to raise public awareness of population issues. By generating political will and financial contributions, NGOs continued to advance the work of UNFPA and the Cairo consensus.

NGOs reaffirmed their commitment to the ICPD action plan at a global round table that was attended by 700 participants from 109 countries. The event was held in London in August by "Countdown 2015", an initiative of Family Care International, IPPF, Population Action International and many other partners. The round table issued a Declaration as well as recommendations for accelerating and furthering implementation of the ICPD plan. The initiative also produced a Report Card that assessed country performance on ICPD commitments.

Contributions to the 34 Million Friends of UNFPA movement exceeded $2 million in early August. The campaign has been gathering steam since it was started by two American women, Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham, in July 2002.

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UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS

Together with other UN agencies, UNFPA continued in 2004 to explore new ways to strengthen collaboration, and to enhance the process of building on, and reinforcing, the comparative advantages and mandates of its sister agencies. The harmonization and simplification of rules and procedures, improving team building within UN country teams, and support for the Resident Coordinator system were among the many aspects of UNFPA's commitment to partnership and full collaborative programming. UNFPA participated actively in the United Nations Development Group, of which it is a founding member, and worked closely with partners in UNAIDS.

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FOUNDATIONS

The United Nations Foundation (UNF), established by U.S. business leader Ted Turner, provided leadership in NGO activities for the ICPD anniversary. UNF and the Summit Foundation also spearheaded the World Leaders' Statement supporting the ICPD.

UNF provided UNFPA with a $3 million grant to support its global advocacy and commodity security activities. In Nepal, UNF provided a $335,000 grant to a joint programme by UNFPA and the German development agency GTZ aimed at improving the quality of reproductive health care. In addition, with funding from U.S.-based Indian philanthropy, UNF provided a grant to UNFPA to support Population Council efforts to find alternatives to early marriage in India.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continued to support the Africa Youth Alliance, which worked in four countries for young people's access to health, education and life skills.

Among new partnerships in 2004 were private sector corporate sponsors of UNFPA's Campaign to End Fistula, namely Virgin Unite, founded by Richard Branson of the Virgin Group of Companies, and the London office of the ad agency Young & Rubicam, which will lend its creative services to UNFPA efforts to raise awareness in the United Kingdom.

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ACADEMIC COLLABORATION

UNFPA and Columbia University continued to collaborate on the project Making Safe Motherhood a Reality, providing technical and financial support to India, Morocco, Mozambique and Nicaragua through the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Programme. UNFPA worked with the American University of Beirut on a regional project to integrate reproductive health education, including HIV prevention, into youth programmes. Effective approaches to HIV prevention in young people were the focus of a global consultation carried out with partners including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Also in 2004, UNFPA and Johns Hopkins University developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions about the correct and consistent use of male and female condoms for use in condom programming. UNFPA continued to work with the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute to monitor progress towards achieving ICPD goals in the area of resource mobilization.

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CELEBRITIES FOR UNFPA

UNFPA Goodwill Ambassadors bring to the attention of the public and decision makers the needs of people in developing countries, especially for reproductive health care and rights. They also remind donor governments of promises made at Cairo to increase their financial contributions for implementation of the ICPD plan.

UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Goedele Liekens of Belgium traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, in May to visit UNFPA-supported projects to rehabilitate the Khair Khana Hospital, the Women's Vocational Training Centre at the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Central Statistical Office. Alfred Biolek, prominent German television personality and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, presented a giant invoice to the State Secretary of the German Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation, Erich Stather. The event was held to draw attention to the sum still owed by the German Government as part of its funding commitment to population and reproductive health programmes.

UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Yuko Arimori

UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Yuko Arimori of Japan, winner of two Olympic women’s marathon medals, during a visit to a UNFPAsupported micro-credit project in Muniguda village, India, in June. She is surrounded by members of a local women’s group, which encourages village women to give birth at health facilities in an effort to reduce maternal mortality rates. Her 10-day trip to India was extensively covered by the Japanese media; an estimated 23 million viewers and listeners heard her interviewed on radio or television. Photo:Courtesy of JOICEF

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POPULATION AWARD

Internationally acclaimed demographer John C. Caldwell, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, a pioneer in the treatment of childbirth injuries, won the 2004 United Nations Population Award. The award is given annually to individuals and institutions for their outstanding work in the field of population and in the improvement of the health and welfare of individuals.


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