Thursday, 7 November 2019

UNFPA Marks 50th anniversary; holds symposium

Kenneth Ehouzou
Kelvin Obambon|7 November 2019 

CALABAR —The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Thursday marked its 50th anniversary with a South-South and South-East regional symposium on gender equality and youth empowerment NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively.

The symposium was in line with the UNFPA's gender equality strategy, the "Youth 2030" strategy and the "My Body, My Life, My World!" Adolescent strategy, which are all tilted toward youth development.

The event which took place at the Channel View Hotel, Calabar, the Cross River State capital, was well attended by members of the diplomatic corps, government agencies, civil society organizations, youth groups and students.

In his welcome address, the country director of UNFPA, Dr. Mahmudu Kante, expressed appreciation to Cross River Government for its cordial working relationship with all agencies of the United Nations in the state.

Kante, who was represented by the head, Cross River sub office of the agency, Mr. Kenneth Ehouzou, said the UNFPA is the only UN agency responsible for sexual and reproductive health. He said that the body is committed to ensuring that every child birth is safe and every young person's potential is effectively harness and utilize.

The director said the agency has consistently worked with stakeholders to implement impactful projects that provide universal access to sexual and reproductive health, promote reproductive rights and as well as reduce maternal mortality among women and young girls.

Dr Kante said that the event marks the last set of celebration in Nigeria, as the UNFPA would move the 50th anniversary celebration to Nairobi, Kenya.

"We want to thank every stakeholder as we celebrate our 50th birthday, and also as we celebrate the ICPD conference.

"We are here today because this is the South-South, South-East regional symposium on gender equality and youth empowerment. You will agree with me that these two groups are central to the achievement of the programme of action of the ICPD, and the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

"Again, we are here to have an inclusive platform that brings together governments, UN agencies, civil societies, women groups, young people to discuss how to accelerate the implementation of the programme of the ICPD. The programme of action is critical to achieving the SDG by 2030 and also to achieve the UNFPA's three transformative results - zero preventable maternal death, zero Unmet need for family planning and zero gender based violence.", he said.

Making his remarks, the chairman, committee on health, Cross River State House of Assembly, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, commended the efforts of  UNFPA in ensuring reproductive and sexual health of women, noting that the role of women in the society cannot be over-emphasized.

Dr Ekpo Ekpo said the house as the representative of the people, will align with the ideas of the symposium, which he believes would help in emancipating the youths from social vices and ultimately lead to their development.

There were also goodwill messages from representatives of the state ministry of health, ministry of justice, the Nigeria Police among others.

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