Press Release

14 September 2005

Make Women and Young People Your Top Priority, UNFPA Chief Urges World Leaders

UNITED NATIONS, New York —Women and young people should be at the top of the world’s agenda, as women’s empowerment and gender equality are at the heart of achieving the Millennium Declaration, according to Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “Their health and well-being are critical to the success we are trying to achieve,” said Ms. Obaid, “making the human rights of women and youth a political priority will ensure progress for all.”

Addressing world leaders at an interactive round-table session as part of the 2005 World Summit Summit, Ms. Obaid also called for more investment in health, particularly reproductive health. “We will not be able to reduce poverty, slow the spread of HIV and AIDS, improve maternal health and reduce child mortality, unless greater investments are made in sexual and reproductive health,” said Ms. Obaid.

Ms. Obaid also highlighted the “devastating crisis in public health systems and health personnel afflicting many developing countries,” which requires countries to build up health systems. “Investing in health and human rights is not an expenditure,” added Ms. Obaid. “It is an investment that brings high returns for development, and peace and security.”

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031
Email: dungus@unfpa.

Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028