U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs Ambassador Rick Barton today reported that in just few short weeks, the world’s population will reach seven billion, a major milestone in human history.
In his remarks to the Executive Board of the United Nations Population Fund, Mr. Barton said while many people are living longer and healthier lives, the world must continue its efforts to alleviate poverty, inequality, lack of education, and poor healthcare that still affect billions in the developing world.
“We firmly believe that programs that promote increased access to reproductive health care, particularly for women and girls, can lead the way to a healthier future for all.” -Mr. Barton
He stated that with half of the world’s population under the age of 25, the world must also harness the positive force of the world’s youth to meet the needs of 7 billion people.
“When young people can claim their right to education and the highest attainable standards of health – including sexual and reproductive health – they can make informed choices and increase their opportunities to become a powerful force for economic development and positive change.” -Mr. Barton
He highlighted that United States also believes that humanitarian assistance should continue to be an integral part of UNFPA’s mandate. He said the United States wishes to learn more about the Fund’s humanitarian strategy, and the Executive Director’s vision for UNFPA’s work in this area.
“In view of the increasing number and complexity of humanitarian crises throughout the world, we urge the Fund’s leadership to intensify progress on mainstreaming emergency preparedness and response into all relevant work of the organization.” -Mr. Barton
He further encouraged UNFPA to translate its global level commitment to combat gender based violence into effective country level coordination within the cluster system.
Mr. Barton underscored that the Obama Administration is committed to working with key multilateral organizations such as UNFPA to improve the health and well-being of women and families around the world.