Statement by Ambassador Berger at the 1st regular session of the Executive Board of the UNFPA
National Statement ofGermany
On behalf of the Government of Germany I would like to congratulate Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin upon his appointment as UNFPA Executive Director. I would also like to thank the Executive Director for his clear and comprehensive statement outlining his vision.
Germany enjoys a long-standing, close partnership with UNFPA in our joint effort to work for sexual and reproductive health and rights. The implementation of the Program of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development is one of the major goals of our activities in the health sector. Two issues which we consider particularly important are the implementation of the Human Right to health and the effort to link family planning and maternal health more closely to HIV/AIDS protection programs.
Human rights are the guiding principle for German Development Cooperation, especially for improving maternal health and equitable access to services. Integrating HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights measures create synergy effects and improve services in both areas. Integrated services can also increase access to health care in general, given that, for most women, Sexual and Reproductive Health services often represent their first contact with the health-care system.
Germany supports the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health and is currently preparing an initiative that will give top political priority to voluntary and rights-based family planning and will have an increased focus on education campaigns and cooperation with a variety of partners. At the most recent G8 summit in Canada, we pledged 400 million euros additional ODA for 2011 through 2015 in support of the Muskoka Initiative adopted there. We plan to use most of that funding in the area of reproductive health and family planning.
This will at the same time be our contribution to the UN-SG’s “Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.”
Germany acknowledges UNFPA’s pivotal role in supporting the development of capacities in the area of Population and Development and the steps taken in order to achieve the MDGs, especially goals 4 and 5.
We would like to stress the importance of human rights to sexual and reproductive health for women and young people. The integration of the ICPD human rights agenda into national and international human rights systems requires continued attention and we encourage UNFPA to strengthen efforts in this respect. High-quality data is critical to a better understanding of population dynamics and their inter-linkages with development. We therefore encourage UNFPA to maintain the quality of data collection and analysis as well as the focus on utilisation of data for policy, planning and budgeting at national level.
The Mid-Term Review of UNFPA’s strategic plan in 2011 provides an excellent opportunity for reviewing and adapting set objectives. We are looking forward to engage in discussion of the outcomes of the mid-term review.
With regard to the recent establishment of UN Women, Germany encourages UNFPA to cooperate closely with the new entity in order to further promote Gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is an opportunity to enhance gender-sensitive approaches in the Funds’s work as well as coherence and coordination on these issues within the UN system.
Again, our most sincere congratulations to Mr. Osotimehin; be assured of the continued support of Germany to UNFPA.