NIGER: Le Sahel reported on 27 September that while participating in the work of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President of Niger Republic, the Corps General of army Djibo Salou, took the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director of UNFPA, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. After her interview with the Head of State, the Executive Director said to the press that UNFPA will strengthen its cooperation with Niger and that she was pleased to learn that a centre to treat obstetric fistula is opening in Niger.
SWEDEN: Göteborgs Posten published an editorial on 25 September called “No more dead Moms,” referring to the new UN investment on reducing maternal mortality and increasing women’s rights to reproductive health. The editorial quoted UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, who commented on the new investment, saying “Women deliver for their families, communities and nations. Now it’s time to deliver for the women.” The editorial further wrote about the Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister, Gunilla Carlsson, who has taken a strong interest in the MDG 5 on maternal health. The Swedish government regards reducing maternal health a priority, and raised awareness to the goal during the UN MDG Summit. Read in Swedish: Goteborgs Posten
TUNISIA: Zawya reported on 29 September that as part of his participation in the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane had several talks with sisterly and friendly countries' delegations taking part in the current session. The Minister also conferred with the President of the General Assembly's 65th session, Joseph Deiss, on issues topping the General Assembly's agenda and Tunisia's contribution to the success of the institution's works. The Minister also met Messrs. Antonio Gutierrez, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, William Swing, Director-General of the IOM and Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director. Read: Zawya
UGANDA: The Monitor published an op-ed on 29 September arguing that the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals ended with promises to reduce relentless maternal deaths. As usual, the promises are huge but progress is always slow. We keep hoping that this time, something will be done to prevent unnecessary deaths linked to maternal health. Nobody disputes the importance of maternal health but surprisingly, nothing much is done to save lives. Since the inception of MDG5, little progress has been registered. According to the latest issue of "Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008" by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, maternal mortality declined globally by 34 per cent from the 1990s. What is disheartening is that Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for 87 per cent of the estimated 358,000 maternal deaths in 2008 and only 11 countries, six of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, account for 65 per cent of these deaths. Read: The Monitor