Press Release

World Economic Forum Selects UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador as a Global Leader for Tomorrow

27 January 2003
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 27 January - UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and Miss Universe 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe, was among young international personalities selected by the World Economic Forum as the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" for the year 2003. Ms. Kwelagobe will be honoured during an award ceremony to be held today in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the Forum's Annual Meeting.

For the last decade, the World Economic Forum has identified 100 young individuals each year who have demonstrated a capacity to shape future agendas in their communities, countries and the world at large. These young leaders - all under the age of 37 - come from diverse geographical and professional backgrounds and are considered an integral part of the World Economic Forum constituency.

The Global Leaders are encouraged to actively participate in activities and projects in line with the mission of the Forum - which is to improve the state of the world. They are also expected to identify and address in proactive, innovative and entrepreneurial ways issues that would become a priority on the future global agenda.

The first delegate ever from her home country of Botswana to participate in the Miss Universe Pageant, Ms. Kwelagobe has dedicated her celebrity status to the fight against HIV/AIDS. She was appointed as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in February 2000 in recognition of her work to promote the health and well being of the women and children in her country.

Ms. Kwelagobe was the founder of The Mpule Kwelagobe Children's Village, which houses 400 children affected by and infected with HIV, and has participated in numerous activities to raise awareness of the disease. She has also been a tireless spokesperson for the UNFPA-supported Face to Face International, an organization that mobilizes public support and financial resources to help women in the developing world and economies in transition.

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UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, UNFPA has provided close to $6 billion to developing countries to meet reproductive health needs and support sustainable development issues. The Fund helps ensure that women displaced by natural disasters or armed conflicts have life-saving services such as assisted delivery, and prenatal and post-partum care. It also works to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection, sexual exploitation and violence.

Contact Information:

Kristin Hetle
Tel.: +1 212-297-5020
Email: hetle@unfpa.org

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028
Email: gharzeddine@unfpa.org

Switzerland
Population : 8.5 mil
Fertility rate
1.6
Maternal Mortality Ratio
5
Contraceptives prevalence rate
74
Population aged 10-24
16%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 87%
Girls 84%