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Statement by the Executive Director to the Executive Board

At the Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board 2014

Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

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Global summit urges end to sexual violence in conflict

UNITED NATIONS, New York – In conflicts the world over, women’s bodies become battlegrounds and rape becomes a weapon of war. This week, government ministers and representatives from the United Nations and other organizations are joining legal, military and judicial experts to generate momentum towards ending the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict.

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The State of the World’s Midwifery 2014

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Investment in midwifery can save millions of lives of women and newborns

3 June 2014 | PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - A report released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), WHO and partners reveals that major deficits in the midwifery workforce occur in 73 countries where these services are most desperately needed. The report recommends new strategies to address these deficits and save millions of lives of women and newborns.

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UNICEF, UNFPA stand behind Africa’s biggest anti child marriage push

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 29 May 2014 – UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) welcomed the first African Union campaign to end child marriage launched in Addis Ababa today.

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Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013 Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division

New WHO report shows 45 percent reduction in maternal deaths since 1990. An estimated 289,000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523 000 in 1990.

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Statement for the International Day of the Midwife

Join statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund and Frances Day-Stirk, President, International Confederation of Midwives

The International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on 5 May.

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Parliamentarians Spotlight Rights of Women and Girls

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Hundreds of parliamentarians, dignitaries and policymakers from around the world gathered in Stockholm, Sweden, from 23 to 25 April to reaffirm their support for women’s and adolescents’ human rights, particularly their reproductive rights.

Taking place 20 years after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Stockholm event – the 6th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action – focused attention on the links between population issues and sustainable development.

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UNFPA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Boost Family Planning in Developing Countries

UNITED NATIONS, New York — UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to help increase access to family planning information, contraceptives and services in developing countries, particularly for young people.

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Human Rights Essential to Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health Agenda

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Human rights violations are one of the main challenges to achieving equitable, universal and sustainable access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, according to international experts gathered at a side event of the UN Commission on Population and Development.

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Midwives are Key to Fewer Maternal Deaths

UNITED NATIONS, New York – At a side event of the 47th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, leaders and experts highlighted the key role of midwifery in drastically decreasing maternal deaths and providing crucial services for societies as a whole.

But Ms. Tanja Rasmusson, Sweden’s State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, noted that political will is needed to further reduce maternal deaths. “Societies have to decide that it’s worth it to invest in a woman’s life,” she said.

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Sound of Silence: Dealing with the Legacy of Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Women often suffer the worst consequences of armed conflict. As targets of sexual violence, they endure unspeakable atrocities on the margins of the world’s battlefields.

“Rape in war leaves many unseen scars that continue to haunt survivors long after the guns have fallen silent and the conflict has ended,” said Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, in her remarks at a high-level panel of this year’s Commission on Status of Women.

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Zeroing in on the Needs of Women and Young People – World AIDS Day 2013

Today, as we mark World AIDS Day, we can point to significant progress in the global response to the epidemic on the road to reaching the goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Worldwide, the number of new HIV infections continues to fall, more people have access to antiretroviral treatment and, as a result, fewer people are dying of AIDS.

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State of World Population 2013: Motherhood in Childhood - Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy

Motherhood in childhood is a huge problem, especially in developing countries, where every year 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth, according to The State of World Population 2013 report released today by UNFPA.

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Innovating for girls' education

Statement by the UNFPA Executive Director on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October 2013

More girls are in school today than ever before. However, too many girls, especially the most marginalized, have never seen the inside of a classroom, or they go to school only sporadically, never getting the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to reach their full potential. For those in school, challenges like teacher shortages abound, making learning difficult even for the most motivated student.

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International Migration and Development: Contributions and Recommendations of the International System

This publication has been prepared by the UN system organizations and related international entities as input to the second UN General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development on 3 and 4 October 2013.

The individual chapters illustrate the work undertaken by the various contributors in support of migrants, their families, and societies touched by migration. The agency chapters draw the attention of policymakers and practitioners to tools, guides and good practices in the area of international migration and development.

International Organization for Migration:

Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.

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Asian and Pacific Countries Adopt Ground-Breaking Agenda on Population, Development and Rights

BANGKOK, Thailand (ESCAP and UNFPA) – A regional ministerial conference of Asian and Pacific governments has issued a strong reaffirmation that gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are indispensable to sustainable development, and must be a key part of the post-2015 development framework.

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UNFPA, USAID Strengthen Collaboration to Boost Access to Voluntary Family Planning for Women across Globe

Agencies will tackle critical gaps to improve maternal health

UNITED NATIONS, New York—USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, two of the longest-serving development agencies addressing population concerns, announced today new efforts to strengthen their collaboration to advance reproductive health, including voluntary family planning, worldwide.

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Pregnancy complications, child birth leading cause of death among 15-19 year old girls - UNFPA chief

TEHRAN, 8 July 2013 (UNIC)—United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in his message on World Population Day, 11 July 2013 said about 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.

The full text of his message reads:

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Investing in Women's Health - the Key to Africa's Economic Development

Opinion Piece by Dr. Babtunde Osotimehin, Executive Director UNFPA for Kyodo News

In countries where women have adequate access to reproductive health services -- such as family planning, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric and neonatal care -- maternal and newborn deaths are rare. But this is a luxury in many African countries.

Africa has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world, with 57 percent of all maternal deaths occurring on the continent.

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Adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs in humanitarian settings: an in-depth look at family planning services [EN/AR]

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Globally, 16 million girls aged 15-19 years and two million girls under age 15 give birth every year. In the poorest regions of the world, this translates to roughly one in three girls bearing children by the age of 18.

Adolescent girls are at the highest risk of maternal death: the risk of pregnancy-related death is twice as high for girls aged 15-19 and five times higher for girls aged 10-14 compared to women in their twenties.