UNFPA Executive Director Kanem arrives in Kathmandu for two-day visit

KATHMANDU: Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has arrived in Kathmandu on her first official visit to Nepal since her appointment two years ago. Dr Kanem is accompanied by Mr Bjorn Andersson, UNFPA Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and Mr Pio Smith, UNFPA Chief of Staff.

According to the press statement released by UNFPA Nepal, the high-level two-day visit is to recognise the achievements by Nepal in relation to Cairo vision and commitment of the government to its full implementation by 2030; and to invite government at the highest level to participate in the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which will be held on 12-14 November, as a champion of reproductive rights.

“Nepal has made such momentous strides under the ICPD Programme of Action in the past quarter-century, amid formidable challenges,” Dr Kanem noted in the statement, “but now is the time to urgently address the unfinished business. The Rights to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Act introduced last year is a remarkable piece of legislation that is forward-looking and will certainly help accelerate efforts to achieve the goals agreed to in Cairo, goals which will be reaffirmed and recommitted to in Nairobi next month as well”.

While in Nepal, the UNFPA delegation will be meeting with senior government officials, development partners, CSOs and other key stakeholders as well as UNFPA staff.

“As we gear up for Nairobi, we’re gratified that Nepal and all our member states have recognised that without achieving ICPD we simply won’t achieve the SDGs that underpin the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” said Dr Kanem. “We thank Nepal for its valuable partnership and support in working with us towards our transformative results: Zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and other harmful practices such as child marriage. This is critical in fulfilling the vision of ICPD and the SDGs – that of leaving no one behind.”