Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, previous Minister of Health of Nigeria and PMNCH Board member to lead UNFPA
22 NOVEMBER 2010 | OTTAWA – UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has just announced that Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, former health minister of Nigeria and former PMNCH board member and current PMNCH Africa spokesperson, will succeed Thoraya Ahmed Obaid as UNFPA Executive Director once her tenure ends 31 December 2010.
On 19 November 2010, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, a former health minister of Nigeria, will succeed Thoraya Ahmed Obaid once her tenure ends on 31 December as UNFPA’s executive director.
Professor Osotimehin joins UNFPA after his tenure as Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, during which he also sat on the Board of the PMNCH. Professor Osotimehin first as a board member and then as the PMNCH Africa spokesperson has played a crucial role in the advocacy efforts around the United Nations Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, the African Union Summit and other regional and global efforts targeting improved maternal, newborn and child health.
UN Foundation President Sen. Timothy Wirth welcomes the appointment as “opportunity to recommit ourselves to addressing the needs of the world’s women and children.”
He says Dr Osotimehin will join the UNFPA at a critical time for women and girls across the globe, who largely lack access to services that can help them determine the number, spacing, and timing of their children. Poor women and adolescent girls in developing countries tend to be disproportionally denied access to these options.
Ensuring the health of women and girls is one of the best ways to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brought much needed attention to this fact when he launched the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health in September of this year, a plan of action which ties the health of the world’s women and girls to the achievement of major reductions in infant and maternal mortality, HIV infections and global poverty. Dr Osotimehin, in his new position, will have the opportunity to significantly contribute to the success of this strategy.