IPPF’s Director General welcomes appointment of new UNFPA Executive Director

Dr Natalia Kanem during the launch of IPPF annual report. credits: IPPF/2017

Tewodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF, has welcomed the appointment of Dr Natalia Kanem as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

“Natalia Kanem has been an outstanding leader in the field of reproductive health and rights, public health and the rights and health of women and young people for more than a quarter of a century,” said Mr Melesse.

“I welcome her appointment today as the new UNFPA Executive Director with great warmth, with hope and with a pledge of support from IPPF and more than 160 national member associations around the world.”

Dr Kanem became the acting executive director of UNFPA after the unexpected and sudden death in June of Dr Babatunde Osotimehin.

Mr Melesse said: “Dr Babatunde was my friend as well as my colleague, and I am sure that Dr Kanem will build on his legacy as she assumes her new role.

IPPF and UNFPA have worked closely together for many years in the fight to ensure access to the best possible reproductive health care for women and youth everywhere.

Our member associations partner with UNFPA on the ground to deliver health care, access to contraception and protection for many of the poorest and most marginalised in society. We are proud of our work together.”

Mr Melesse added: “We stand with UNFPA in the fight to secure access to vital funding for our life-saving work. Along with UNFPA, IPPF and its members are committed to the rights of all people to make their own decisions about their lives. No-one should be denied the right to decide for themselves whether to have children, when to have them and how many to have.

I pledge my support, IPPF’s support and the support of our member associations in the continued struggle alongside Dr Kanem and UNFPA to provide reproductive health care and rights for all, and reject all forms of coercion that would rob individuals of their right to decide.”