26 January 2011
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 605 Third Avenue New York, New York 10158 USA
Dear Dr. Osotimehin,
Warm greetings from the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)!
We sincerely extend our heart-felt congratulations for your appointment as the new head of UNFPA. We are glad that you, a strong and lifelong advocate for women’s health and rights, are at the helm of the agency, and wish you all the best for your leadership. We look forward to working with you and UNFPA in realising the sexual and reproductive rights of all.
ARROW is a regional, ECOSOC-accredited non-profit organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that has been working for the past 17 years to enhance civil society capacities to hold governments accountable to their international commitments related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). ARROW’s work spans information and evidence generation, capacity building, regional monitoring of progress, partnership building for advocacy, engagement at international and regional fora and contributing towards enhancing the organisational strength of both ARROW and partners. We currently work with 26 national partners* in 13 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam, and will also be soon expanding our work in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Fiji, Maldives and Sri Lanka. (For more information about ARROW and our work, please visit www.arrow.org.my)
Our recent engagements with UNFPA include a consultancy with UNFPA Cambodia to assist the Gender Mainstreaming Action Group (GMAG) of the Ministry of Health of Cambodia in mainstreaming gender into the health system; and a project with UNFPA APRO on producing a brief that aims to inform policy-makers and decision-makers on the critical linkages between eliminating gender-based violence and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (please visit www.arrow.org.my/publications/GBVBrief.pdf to download the publication).
On behalf of our partners and our constituencies around the Asia-Pacific, a diverse region which accounts for more than 60% of the world’s population and the world’s women, and where almost one-third of the population are young people, we respectfully urge you to:
Many thanks in advance for hearing our concerns and considering our recommendations. We look forward to working with you during your tenure as the UNFPA Executive Director.
Sincerely,Saira Shameem Executive Director Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) No. 1& 2, Jalan Scott, Brickfields 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 603 2273 9913 / Fax: 603 2273 9916 Website: www.arrow.org.my Organisational Email: [email protected]
ARROW’S PARTNERS ACROSS THE ASIA-PACIFIC INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Bangladesh: Naripokkho; Cambodia: Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC); China: Beijing Qianqian Law Firm (formerly known as the Beijing Women’s Law Studies and Legal Aid Centre); College of Management of Ningxia Medical University; Heilongjiang Women’s Federation; Shanghai Women’s Healthcare Institute; and Yunnan Health and Development Research Association (YHDRA);India: Academy of Nursing Studies and Women’s Empowerment Research Studies; Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA); Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ); Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC) and SAHAYOG; Indonesia: Women’s Health Foundation (WHF) and Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan; Lao PDR: Post-graduate Studies Department, National University of Laos; Malaysia: Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia (FRHAM); and Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM); Nepal: Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC); Pakistan: Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre; Philippines: Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health; and Reproductive Health, Rights and Ethics Center for Studies and Training (ReproCen); Thailand:Southeast Asian Consortium on Gender, Sexuality and Health; Tonga: Women’s and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC); and Vietnam: Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP); Institute for Reproductive and Family Health (RaHF); and Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED)
|ASIA-PACIFIC CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS
Data from the Asia and Pacific region reveal the urgent need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to all that are gender-sensitive, rights-based and address social equity and justice. Comprehensive SRH services should include the full range of contraception; maternal health care and services, which includes emergency and comprehensive obstetric services; treatment for infertility, reproductive cancers and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV); safe abortion services; services to address gender-based violence; adolescent reproductive health services; and sexuality information and education, amongst others, and should be available and accessible to all.