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Babatunde Osotimehin

Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

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Summary
In this episode of the ACUNS Current Issues Podcast series, Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin discusses the role of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is charged with addressing and supporting the rights of women and young people around the world. He talks about several issues addressing women’s rights, such as underage marriage, teenage pregnancy and violence against women; and how the UNFPA is addressing these issues through education, distribution of contraceptives and working with governments and local communities. Dr. Osotimehin believes that human rights should play a central role in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, as he feels they were not sufficiently emphasized in the previous Millennium Development Goals. Dr. Osotimehin also describes how these changes will affect the so-called “demographic dividend” – the economic and social returns created by investing in the young population, especially in Global South countries whose populations tend to have a high percentage of adolescents, youth and young adults. Dr. Osotimehin concludes that it is the responsibility of everyone to work towards understanding and supporting solutions to the many challenges facing women and young people around the world.

Resources
United Nations Population Fund
UNFPA Annual Report 2014
Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 (pdf)
Connect: UNFPA Twitter (@UNFPA)

About Babatunde Osotimehin
On 1 January 2011, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a physician and public health expert, became only the fourth Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin was Nigeria’s Minister of Health. Prior to that, he was Director-General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinates HIV and AIDS work in a country of about 180 million people.

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Recorded May 2015