Dispatch

05 January 2011

UN Secretary-General Welcomes the New Year and New Executive Director with Visit to UNFPA

NEW YORK — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to visit UNFPA, personally wish staff a happy New Year, thank them for their work and welcome the new UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin. Speaking to the staff who gathered in the corridors to hear him speak, the Secretary-General said he was pleased to have the highly qualified Dr. Osotimehin leading the organization, and he also praised the leadership of former Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.

The UN Secretary-General noted that five of his eight strategic priorities for the coming year involve UNFPA, and he challenged staff to work together to meet the expectations of humanity, in spite of constraints. “We have to be very practical, creative and motivated in utilizing our limited resources to bring maximal results. For this, we have to work as one team, one family, one United Nations.”

In response, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin reiterated UNFPA's strong support to the Secretary-General and United Nations priorities, including the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, the Millennium Development Goals, humanitarian response, climate change and sustainable development. He pledged that as we face a world population of seven billion, UNFPA will follow the Secretary-General’s leadership to raise awareness about population and population dynamics. The aim, he said, is to ensure a sustainable world, and within that to protect human rights, especially those of women and children.