UNFPA welcomed exceptional support for its work and mandate in 2005. The largest-ever gathering of world leaders resolved to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015, promote gender equality and end discrimination against women. This endorsement at the 2005 World Summit affirmed the goal of reproductive health for all, as envisioned at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. World leaders agreed that reproductive health is essential to reducing poverty, improving maternal health, reducing maternal and child death, empowering women and combating HIV/AIDS.
The United Nations Millennium Project, commissioned by the United Nations
Secretary-General to propose the best strategies to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals, recommended that the world “expand access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, including family planning and contraceptive information and services, and close existing funding gaps for supplies and logistics”.
And there is one more sign of support that I am particularly proud of: More countries than ever contributed to UNFPA in 2005. With a record-breaking 172 donor countries, including every country in sub-Saharan Africa, UNFPA enjoys the broadest base of support of any United Nations organization.
Such global support is encouraging. It promises that women and young people will be raised higher on the global agenda, and confirms that investing in health and human rights is not an expenditure; it is an investment that brings high returns for development, peace and security.
The UNFPA Annual Report 2005 highlights our work with partners in 148 countries. It provides an overview of challenges and achievements throughout the year, in policy and programming and in efforts to harmonize cooperation with our United Nations partners. Among many activities, the report presents our response to the tsunami and earthquake disasters in Asia, features our efforts to end obstetric fistula and expand access to reproductive health, addresses our work with governments to integrate population trends and dynamics into their development plans, notes our endorsement of the Global Task Team’s recommendations and an intensified HIV/AIDS response, and introduces our role in the new global Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.
This environment of support, and the continued needs of women, men and children around the world, inspire UNFPA to strengthen its contributions as a member of the United Nations family, a partner to countries and an advocate for the vulnerable.
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid
Executive Director, UNFPA