Media Advisory

UNFPA to Highlight Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People, especially Girls

8 November 2013
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS — As the lead United Nations agency working to promote the sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights of young people, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is determined to ensure that young people have the information, services and supplies they need to make a safe, healthy and fulfilling transition from adolescence to adulthood. This is the message we will be bringing to the third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) in Addis Ababa next week.

As political leaders, researchers, young people and advocates in the field of family planning and reproductive health come together in Ethiopia from 10-15 November to call attention to the wide-ranging benefits of helping people plan their families, UNFPA will underscore the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, especially for young people and other vulnerable groups.

More than 40 per cent of the world’s population is under age 25 and reproductive choices are the key to ensuring that this young generation will have a future. When a girl becomes pregnant, her present and future radically change—rarely for the better. All too often, a girl’s education will end, and her job prospects evaporate, while her vulnerabilities to poverty, health problems, social exclusion and dependency multiply. Political commitment and support are necessary to ensure that the benefits of family planning can be extended to all those who need them.

UNFPA will organize and support a number of events with partners to address these issues, including:

Nov 10 – 11
African Union Youth Pre-Conference Meeting
Investing in our future: Addressing Family Planning within the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Youthful Africa
Location: African Union Commission Headquarters
Please visit for more information

The African Union pre-conference will give participants the opportunity to interact with high level decision makers, family planning experts, and other stakeholders to highlight reproductive health challenges faced by young people and allow participants to work out innovative solutions to ensure that family planning and other youth sexual and reproductive health and rights needs are properly situated in the post-2015 development agenda. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin will deliver the keynote address and encourage young people and policy makers that investing in the sexual and reproductive health of youth in Africa is an investment in our common future.

Nov 11, 5:00pm – 9:30 pm and Nov 12, 8:30am – 3:00pm:
2013 International Conference on Family Planning Youth Pre-Conference
Location: Saro-Maria Hotel
Contact: Ms. Anna Kaagesten at for more information

The International Youth Pre-Conference will provide a platform for young leaders and advocates in family planning to meet other delegates and plan for their active participation during the conference. There will be opportunities to interact with world leaders as well as participate in training that will focus on key advocacy and communication skills to be used in family planning and youth sexual and reproductive health initiatives. At the opening session, Pathways to Leadership, youth participants will have the opportunity to interact with world leaders in sexual and reproductive health to discuss career pathways and effective family planning leadership at different levels. The panel Human Rights Approaches to Family Planning will provide an overview of human rights as a key determinant of voluntary family planning access and use.

Nov 12, 7:30am – 3:30 pm:
High-Level Ministerial Meeting
The Youth Dividend—Return on Investment in Family Planning
Location: African Union Conference Center
For more information please access

More than 20 Ministers of Finance and Planning, Health, Youth, and Gender are among the leaders who will convene on 12 November to discuss the investments needed—especially in family planning—to meet the needs of Africa’s youth today, and to maximize their future potential for national development. The High-Level Ministerial Meeting will be held in conjunction with the third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) in Addis Ababa. Discussions will focus on the key role of family planning in helping nations reap the benefits of a 'demographic dividend'—the accelerated economic growth that can result from a rapid decline in a country’s fertility rate coupled with smart investments in health, education and job creation. Multiple Asian countries have achieved the demographic dividend. Now, with the right investments, it could be within the reach of African nations.

Nov 13, 6– 7:30 pm:
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) First Progress Report Launch
Location: Main Lobby, African Union
For more information please access

FP2020, a creative network of cooperation that encourages partners to align their agendas, pool their talents and utilize existing structures in new and complementary ways, is launching its first report in Addis Ababa. The publication assesses progress achieved since the Family Planning Summit held in London in 2012 and global efforts to deliver on the promise of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls with access to family planning information, services and supplies by 2020.

Nov 14, 8:30 am - 10:00 am
Plenary - Building the Future: the Young and the Restless
Location: Large Conference Hall, African Union

The plenary session will highlight some of the strongest or most promising programmes for directly or indirectly impacting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health in different regions of the world. Building on this body of experience, Kate Gilmore, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, will participate in the plenary's policy roundtable, "Priorities and Gaps for Successful Youth SRHR Programming," to discuss challenges to expand and scale-up evidence-based programmes for young people's sexual and reproductive health.

Nov 14, 10:30 – 11:50 am (following the Plenary)
Girlhood, Not Motherhood! Adolescent Pregnancy, Rights and Realities
Location: AU Conference Center -- 2nd level, Small Conference Hall 1

For millions of girls, pregnancy has little to do with choice. More often it is a consequence of rights violations, including discrimination, child marriage, inadequate education, or coercion. This session will spotlight the latest findings from UNFPA's 2013 State of World Population (SWOP) Report on Adolescent Pregnancy and showcase new thinking and high-level political commitments and actions underway in low and middle-income countries to promote girls' rights and reduce their vulnerability to early pregnancy.

UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Journalists interested in interviewing UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, or other participants, please contact:

Etienne Franca: +1 917 310 8957;

Please stop by for a chat: Tent 14, Booth 63

Follow the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) on social media:

Follow us on Twitter: @UNFPA
Tweet your story: #ICFPLive
Join us on Facebook:

Population : 115 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 31%
Girls 30%

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