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U.N. SG Ban Speaks About Need For Reproductive Health Care For Young People, Releases UNFPA Report

In remarks to the U.N. Commission on Population and Development, which on Monday opened a week-long session in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “stressed the need to provide reproductive health care for young people, as well as give them access to the necessary information and the means to protect themselves from sexual abuse and violence,” the U.N. News Centre reports. Ban “underlined the importance of combating HIV/AIDS among youth, lowering the rates of teenage pregnancies, and protecting children from early marriage,” the news service writes (4/23). “In order to empower the youth of the world, said Ban, the international community must ensure that they have jobs and resources, including reproductive health care,” Xinhua/Mysinchew.com notes (4/23).

At the meeting, Ban “also submitted a new report [.doc] to the Commission, produced by the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which states that urgent action is needed to protect young people’s right to sexual and reproductive health,” the U.N. News Centre writes. The report “highlights the need to give millions of girls access to reproductive health services to avoid unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted infections,” according to the news service (4/23). “The report concludes that the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the key actions for its implementation ‘are still an unfinished agenda for young people in most regions of the world,’” a UNFPA press release states. UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said, “The need to invest in young people is more urgent than ever,” adding that while countries have made progress since the ICPD, “countries still have much to do to fulfill the rights and aspirations of young people,” according to the press release (4/23).