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UNFPA Celebrates 50 Years in India: Youth at the Forefront of Change

UNFPA Celebrates 50 Years in India: Youth at the Forefront of Change

New Delhi, 6th July 2024The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, commemorates its golden jubilee in India, marking 50 years of dedicated efforts and partnership with the Government of India.

Since its inception in 1974, UNFPA has been integral to the country’s development story. It has supported national and state government policies and programmes aimed at the empowerment of women, girls, and youth. In collaboration with civil society, donors, academia, and communities, UNFPA is striving to enhance access to reproductive health services and information, promote gender equality especially addressing child marriage and harmful practices, and invest and empower young people so that their potential is fulfilled.

The event themed ‘Youth Power Unleashed’, showcased powerful stories of change, resilience and inclusivity from youth changemakers belonging to states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha. Ms. Huma Qureshi, popular actress and a body positivity champion joined them virtually. Discussions explored critical issues such as gender equality, reproductive health and rights, tech empowers women, and redefining masculinity. Her presence and insights added depth to the conversation, as she shared her personal experiences and emphasized the importance of self-acceptance, confidence, and standing up against cyberbullying.

Ms.Meera Srivasatava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, congratulated UNFPA on its 50 years of impactful service in India. She further said, “through advancing adolescent and youth reproductive health, promoting life skills education, and empowering young people, UNFPA has supported the Government of India in expanding its flagship programmes such as Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram and the School Health and Wellness Programme.

Shri Nitesh Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary & Chief Vigilance Officer, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in his special address emphasized the critical role of youth in shaping the future. He stated, “The youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow but the problem solvers of today. UNFPA India’s efforts at the grassroots have been instrumental in unleashing and unlocking the vast potential of our young people. “

Andrea M. Wojnar, UNFPA India Representative, reflected, UNFPA’s journey in India, marked by milestones in sexual and reproductive health, women’s and girl’s empowerment, and rights for all, has been fueled by a shared vision with the Government, donors, private sector, the civil society and young people. As we look ahead, we commit to strengthening these partnerships towards a sustainable future.”

Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, added, “Tonight, we draw inspiration from the remarkable stories of Kavita, Munna, Priyajit, and Shivani. These young changemakers exemplify the resilience, innovation, and leadership needed to propel India’s growth and achieve the SDGs.”


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