MEXICO: Regional Meeting on Universal Access to HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Support and Care Held
Reforma reported on 2 March on a regional consultation on HIV/AIDS. Marcela Suazo, UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, warned about the increased number of HIV/AIDS infections among young people in the region and said during an interview that one of the main challenges is to increase access to prevention by enhancing the participation of the educative sector in the provision of information and to develop public policies to ensure resources for prevention, while continuing to provide medication and health care for people living with HIV.
State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) and Neutral Turkmenistan reported on 2 March that a UNFPA delegation, led by Nikolai Botev, UNFPA Sub-Regional Director for Central Asia, and Karl Kulessa, UNFPA Country Director for Turkmenistan, met with the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. The meeting discussed the priority issues for further cooperation in joint programmes in the area of population and development. The participants emphasized the importance of the census in planning the long-term national programs, as it serves as a source of the evidence-based data on population trends. Within this context, the significance of the Government and UNFPA cooperation was noted in conducting the upcoming population and housing census in 2012 in Turkmenistan. During their mission to Turkmenistan, Mr. Botev and Mr. Kulessa also held a series of meetings with the Minister of Education, Minister of Healthcare and Medical Industry and top management of the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under President of Turkmenistan and the Academy of Civil Servants under the President of Turkmenistan. Read in Russian: State News Agency of Turkmenistan
Radio Ozodi reported on 2 March that UNFPA in Tajikistan with the Religious Affairs Committee is jointly hosting the short-term courses for clergies on HIV/AIDS and STI prevention. More than 400 religious clergies will attend the courses which will take place from 2- 5 March. During the courses, participants will be provided with lectures on different aspects of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, STIs, gender and domestic violence. Read in Russian: Ozodi
Multiple media outlets reported on 1-2 March on a joint UN press conference to launch UNICEF flagship report “The State of the World’s Children 2011.” This year, the theme of the report is “Adolescence – An Age of Opportunity,” which emphasizes the imperative of investing in adolescence. UNFPA Representative Bruce Campbell expressed that sexual and reproductive norms and behaviours are changing rapidly among young people – one third of whom still face barriers while trying to access the reproductive health information or services they need. “The UN in Viet Nam therefore stresses the urgent need to equip young people with accurate and relevant information and provide them with decision-making and life skills, as well as develop and make available health services tailored to the special needs of young people,” said Mr. Campbell. Read: Viet Nam Plus, VOV News, Nhan Dan; and Read in Vietnamese: Nhan Dan, Cong An thanh pho HCM, Communist Party online, Viet Nam Plus, Urban Economy, Dan Viet and Phu Nu online
The Swazi Observer reported on 2 March that there is a huge demand from Shiselweni women for the Jadelle Implant which is one of the various methods of family planning. The small clinic recorded 50 new clients in January for family planning services and a majority of these clients were seeking the Jadelle Implant. This was revealed by the midwife in charge of the clinic during a field visit by UNFPA representative Hassan Mohtashami. The Jadelle Implant is a small flexible rod or capsule that is placed just under the skin of the upper arm of a woman. It provides long term pregnancy protection and is effective for five years. With support from UNFPA, this commodity was made available for the first time in November 2009. The UNFPA mission to the JCI clinic also included Programme Specialist-SRH Margareth Tembe and Communication Analyst, Nomahlubi Matiwane. Read: The Swazi Observer
SWAZILAND: The Swazi Observer reported on 2 March that UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehim says too often adults imagine that they know what young people need whereas they need to listen, learn about children and also give them space. Dr. Osotimehim says the participation of young people will be his special focus at UNFPA. Speaking during an interview with The Lancet, the new executive director, having been sworn in last month to succeed Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, called on UNFPA’s officers, partners and UN Member States to embody a vision of young women and men empowered to voluntarily make responsible reproductive decisions with services available to all to plan pregnancy and reduce maternal mortality. Read: The Swazi Observer
IPS reported on 2 March that the "Grassroots Speakout on U.N. Women" brought 50 women activists together to share their stories, suggestions and critiques of the newly established agency on gender equality and women's empowerment. The article noted that Francis Kissling, a visiting scholar from the Centre for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania and the former longtime president of Catholics for a Free Choice, added that the U.N. has, for too long, enabled the voices of religious fundamentalists to usurp conversations about gender equity and water down women's priorities within the patriarchal body. "The Holy See has seen its status in the U.N. upgraded several times in the last 20 years," Ms. Kissling told IPS. "Agencies are afraid of the Holy See. It has launched campaigns against UNICEF and UNFPA, which have contributed to the natural caution of those agencies." Ms. Kissling added, "The very existence of the Security Council is antithetical to a feminist model of conflict resolution. It assumes that the most powerful get to solve the problems of the less powerful without their participation." Read; IPS
IPS reported on 2 March that though the maternal mortality rate has "fallen" since the 1980s, the number of preventable deaths per year is still a staggering 350,000 - a figure that, taken in tandem with huge advances in medical research and development, is simply unacceptable. "The vast majority of deaths are avoidable," said Babatunde Osotimehin, the newly appointed executive director of UNFPA. "In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over a million children are left motherless at the moment of birth," Osotimehin said, addressing a panel of experts at the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Read: IPS
MOZAMBIQUE: Independente reported on 2 March that women in Mozambique still face difficulties to finding a decent work. Josefa Langa, the national director of women, said that the country has shown progress in regard to girl’s access to education, but men and women don’t have the same opportunities when it comes to decent work. According to Ms. Langa, women tend to make up the greatest portion in the informal work sector, and they are efforts to change the situation. The paper noted that Ms. Langa was one of the Mozambicans who are participating in the 55th Session of the CSW, in New York. It added that 21 participants from Mozambique are attending the important meeting representing the Ministries of Women and Social Affairs and Education, UNDP, UNFPA and civil society organizations.
IPS reported on 2 March that when disaster strikes, the initial humanitarian response tends to focus on basic commodities like food and shelter. But as the crisis or conflict drags on, other critical needs often go unmet – such as prenatal care for pregnant women, and emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault. To close this gap, UNFPA and the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) - part of the International Rescue Committee – have launched a newly updated Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings. Read: IPS