Published in The Himalayan Times on Sep. 09 ::

The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA)’s country representative to Nepal Giulia Vallese today said that there still remained critical challenges in ensuring universal access to reproductive health and protection of reproductive rights for one and all.

Delivering a keynote speech at South Asia Consultation on Media Engagement in Post 2015 Development Process in Kathmandu, the UN envoy said, “Universal access to reproductive health and protection of reproductive rights for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, economic, disability or other status represent a critical challenge for achieving a dignifying human development and well being for all.”

Speaking on the theme ‘The unfinished Millennium Development Goals and the need for a people-centered agenda in the post-2015’, Vallese further highlighted that countries must adopt policies that expand individual’s opportunities and choices, creativity and resilience and protect the rights of people, particularly of women and young people to address and harness population dynamics. “Post 2015 development agenda should consider the overarching guiding principles of human rights, equality and sustainability and it should also aim at bridging the huge and expanding inequalities and structural barriers that have hampered efforts to realize the MDGs.”

According to her, there are two indispensable complementary policy and programme areas including fighting inequality and bridging disparities, among and within countries, and supporting groups who happen to be at structural disadvantage particularly women, youth, female adolescents and marginalised and vulnerable groups.

Saying that lack of consideration of population dynamics and of consistent, robust, comprehensive, quality and policy relevant data will always be a major concern and a hindrance to any social, economic and environmental sustainability, Vallese also pointed out a need of proper investment in the youths and adolescents can reap enormous benefits and help the country take advantage of the demographic transition.

“The media has a key role in many areas. It has a role to provide accurate information to the public, to report on success stories, provide a human face to issues that often sound abstract and to ensure that all stakeholders and especially governments deliver on their commitments,” she added.

Addressing the function, National Planning Commission Member Dr Yagya Bahadur Karki said that strategic communication strategies should be integrated with the development agendas to achieve sustainable outputs. The senior demographer also urged media to play key role in communicating demographic issues to the scattered target audiences.

More than 50 participants from India, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal among others have been participating two day brainstorming consultation organised by IPPF South Asia.

Source: http://goo.gl/pJ0X5A