UNITED NATIONS, New York—An American reproductive health advocate, Adrienne Germain, and a Malaysian non-governmental organization, the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia (FRHAM), were announced today as winners of the 2012 United Nations Population Award. The Award is given annually by the Committee for the United Nations Population Award to individuals and institutions for outstanding work in population and in improving the health of individuals.
Ms. Germain has a distinguished history as a prolific writer in the area of family planning, and is recognized as one of the pioneers linking fertility and population policies with the status of women, as far back as 1975. She played a major role as a member of the United States delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, and in the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Ms. Germain served as an advisor to numerous international population programmes, and helped prepare the “Reproductive Health Strategy” by the World Health Organization. Her working career included leadership positions at the Population Council, the Ford Foundation, and the International Women’s Health Coalition, where she served as President from 1998 until her retirement in 2011.
Established in 1958 to educate Malaysian in family planning and responsible parenthood, FRHAM has become the leading non-governmental organization in the area of population, family planning and sexual and reproductive health in Malaysia. It has gained a high visibility at home and in other Asian countries with the promotion of its motto: “Not too early, not too late, and not too close,” to emphasize the value of family planning as a contribution to the health of mothers and children.
The Federation works closely with governmental organizations at the national and local levels, as well as with the International Planned Parenthood Federation. It has expanded its activities through the years to cover disadvantaged communities, including refugees, sex workers, and transsexual and marginalized youths, and has a series of multi-lingual publications that educate the general public in reproductive health and provide health workers with required training.
The Committee for the United Nations Population Award, chaired by Egypt’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maged A. Abdelaziz, consists of 10 United Nations Member States, with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, as its secretariat. Committee members are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and serve for three-year terms. Currently, these members are: Bangladesh, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Norway and the United Republic of Tanzania. The United Nations Secretary-General and the UNFPA Executive Director are ex-officio members.
The Award is scheduled to be presented in June at a ceremony at the United Nations.
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