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UNITED NATIONS, New York, 30 May 2013-Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, warmly welcomed the report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that was presented today to the United Nations Secretary-General.  

"We strongly agree with the Eminent Persons' declaration that people should be at the heart of any development agenda and no person denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities on any grounds," said Dr. Osotimehin. "We also echo their call for a people-centred agenda that ensures the equal rights of women and girls, and empowers them to take leadership roles in their societies." 

"UNFPA strongly believes that women and girls should have the means to exercise their right to make choices on their health, particularly their sexual and reproductive health, freely and without coercion," said Dr. Osotimehin. "The Eminent Persons' report shows, once again, that investing in women's health is not only the right thing to do, but also smart economics. We also fully support their proposals to decrease maternal death and ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights."  

Noting that "no society has become prosperous without a major contribution from its women," the Eminent Persons called for women's equal and full participation in decision-making. "This is yet another testament to the fact that women are major drivers of economic growth in their communities and countries," said Dr. Osotimehin. "But for them to fulfil this potential as economic drivers, we must re-double our efforts to enable them to determine if, when and how often to have children.  Only then would they be better able to pursue education, be more economically productive and help end poverty." 

Furthermore, added Dr. Osotimehin: "We strongly welcome the Eminent Persons' recommended goal to end child marriage. Child marriage threatens the potential of millions of our very own daughters, nieces and grand-daughters. We particularly welcome their support for education for young people which will also provide them with an understanding of sexual and reproductive health." 

"UNFPA believes that young people, particularly those living in poverty, must get their rightful place at the table, so that every young person's potential is fulfilled," said Dr. Osotimehin. 

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that is delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.


For more information, please contact: 
Omar Gharzeddine: Tel: +1 212 297 5028;
To view the report and for more information about the panel, visit