IPPF at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

IPPF Director General T. Melesse, with former President of Tanzania H.E. Jakaya Kikwete. Credits: OALFA/Tara Rice/2017

Tewodros Melesse, IPPF’s Director-General, has been attending the 72nd United Nations General Assembly – taking part in key events that highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights in delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda.

Here are some highlights from the week!

IPPF’s Director General was a speaker at the high-level event organised by the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDs (OAFLA). He joined African leaders in discussing the demographic dividend and raised the importance of equipping women and young people with comprehensive services, information and education and ensuring a conducive policy environment to advance the agenda on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

IPPF Director General at OAFLA meeting
IPPF Director General, Tewodros Melesse, speaking at OAFLA. Photo credits: OAFLA/IPPFAR/Tara Rice/2017

He also took part in a She Decides meeting with other champions, including government ministers and representatives from across the private sector and civil society, to discuss how to expand and enrich the momentum and movement of the She Decides initiative.



At an event organised by the High Level Panel on women’s economic empowerment, UN Women and Member State champions, he spoke about how macroeconomic policy must prioritise investment in high quality gender-responsive services, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. He also raised the need to eliminate Early and Forced Marriage (EFM) and the importance of girls’ education in ensuring their future economic empowerment. To find out more about this event, watch the livestream.


IPPF attended the launch of the EU-UN Gender initiative which has committed 500 million Euros towards eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. IPPF welcomes this initiative as an important and timely project to drive forward change to protect, respect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls around the world.

Tewodros Melesse also joined a high-level panel organised by the UNFPA, which also included Ministers from the governments of Chad and Norway, to discuss sexual and reproductive health commodity security within crisis and humanitarian settings. He raised the importance of political will in ensuring commodity security, as well as the political and financial prioritisation of implementing the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP), and critically, ensuring accessibility and availability of commodities within this package.



Mr. Melesse spoke at a She Decides event hosted by the government of Belgium and co-hosted by the governments of Benin and Senegal, to discuss a new project which aims to enhance national health information systems by integrating crosscutting data from multiple sources. It will improve transparency, accessibility and availability of data to highlight gaps in family planning provision, so that unmet need can be tackled head on.