UNITED NATIONS, New York — The 67th regular session of the UN General Assembly, which began this week at the UN Headquarters, will feature several special events promoting the health and rights of women and young people. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, will play a leading role in many of these events and meet with government, corporate and non-profit leaders to emphasize the critical need of investing in women and young people.
Dr. Osotimehin will speak on the following issues
- Youth Collective Action for Social Change, a panel discussion during the 2012 Social Good Summit on 23 September
The panel, featuring Dr. Osotimehin and other experts, will explore questions related to youth and new technologies, including: Is it possible to catalyze a collective movement to eliminate gender inequality, ensure access to health or provide education that prepares young people for decent work? Can the UN and governments engage young people in efforts to advance social and economic development? How can we inspire young people to become agents of positive change and take action?
- Improving quality of maternal health in developing countries, discussion at a high-level meeting including representatives from H4+, First Lady of Zambia, donors and private representatives on 24 September)
Almost 800 women die each day during or as a result of childbirth—287,000 every year. The vast majority of these deaths, which occur in developing countries, could be prevented if all women could decide when to have children and if they had access to quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth. This would avoid the loss of lives and give women the chance to fulfill their potential and live healthier, more productive lives. UNFPA will join other health agencies and world leaders in urging the international community to accelerate progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in countries that are lagging the furthest behind.
- Increasing Access to Life-Saving Health Commodities (Commodities commission meeting, 26 September)
Some 222 million women currently have an unmet need for family planning in developing countries. Meeting this unmet need would result in 54 million fewer unintended pregnancies and about 79,000 fewer maternal deaths every year. UNFPA is working closely with political leaders and partners to help ensure access to these critical supplies, particularly medicines, contraceptives and other health supplies that would save lives and improve the health of women and young people.
- Launch of Education First, the Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on Education (26 September)
UNFPA is a partner in this new initiative that aims to promote education and turn existing momentum around the issue of education into concrete commitments and action. The initiative will do that by raising the political profile of education; spurring a global movement to achieve quality; and generating additional and sufficient funding through sustained advocacy efforts.
Coinciding with the General Assembly, UNFPA will also launch a social media campaign, Safe Birth, Even Here, to raise awareness of maternal health needs during emergencies.