Welcoming Babatunde Osotimehin,
new UNFPA executive director
Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA executive director, speaks to Population Council staff members and leaders in the global health field. Click here to watch a short excerpt of Dr. Osotimehin’s comments.
On 13 January 2011, I hosted a luncheon to honor and congratulate Babatunde Osotimehin, the new UNFPA executive director. The event was an opportunity for the Population Council to welcome home one of our own. Dr. Osotimehin served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Council’s Center for Biomedical Research from 1979 to 1980, working with UNFPA laureate and former Council distinguished scientist Sheldon Segal. Dr. Osotimehin’s appointment as UNFPA executive director demonstrates the importance of such capacity building. The Council has a long history of providing support to fellows who go on to shape health policies and programs around the world.
Dr. Osotimehin’s luncheon was attended by Council staff members and leaders in the global health field. During his visit, Dr. Osotimehin emphasized that as we enter the year when world population will reach seven billion, women and children will be especially vulnerable. "The issue of women's rights around the world is a central issue of human development," he said. "In order to make progress, the one thing that makes sense is to improve the status of women in terms of rights and access to education, health, and economic inheritance."
Dr. Osotimehin also discussed the importance of partnerships and the need to mobilize resources during this time of financial constraints and called on the Council to continue our work with UNFPA. The Council and UNFPA have been partners since its founding.
Many countries are making progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. But so much work remains. We pledged to work with UNFPA and our many other partners in the global community to improve the quality of people's lives and to ensure a sustainable balance between people and resources.
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