BEIJING, (Xinhua) — The chief of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said Monday the Belt and Road Initiative provides a new cooperation platform on protecting women’s basic rights and youth development.
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UNFPA, told Xinhua that the UNFPA has maintained long-term cooperation with China, and on Sunday his agency signed an MOU with the Chinese government on enhancing cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. He called on all countries along the Belt and Road to invest more in the areas of education and health, and encourage young people to engage in their countries’ development as well as the implementation of all activities along the Belt and Road.
The UNFPA is committed to ensuring sexual and reproductive health rights and promoting the development of young people, he said, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative can provide more opportunities for the UNFPA to have direct dialogue with related countries. Commenting on the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Osotimehin said women and girls in many regions of the world still face gender inequality, sexual violence, and early marriage, and in order to achieve the goals set in the agenda, the UNFPA needs to address these problems. “For UNFPA, we believe the ability to build human capacity in every possible way, particularly for those more vulnerable, such as women and girls, is really important. For us to achieve the 2030 agenda, that is something we must pursue,” he said.