News / Asia

UN Says New Measures Needed to Address Asia Population Issues

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin UNFPA Executive Director (VOA/Ron Corben)Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin UNFPA Executive Director (VOA/Ron Corben)
x
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin UNFPA Executive Director (VOA/Ron Corben)
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin UNFPA Executive Director (VOA/Ron Corben)
Ron Corben
BANGKOK — The chief of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) is calling for Asia governments to give higher priority to women’s development programs. Babatunde Osotimehin says countries should  address increasing population concerns with what he called "foresight and justice".

Greater empowerment for women

U.N. Population Fund Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin is calling for greater empowerment of women and young girls to address issues of social inequality and to boost economies as women take up greater roles in development.

Before this week's Asian Population conference in Bangkok, Osotimehin says empowering women would reduce violence against women and help boost economic and social development.  “Violence against women would reduce considerably, it would reduce the issues of teenage and early marriages, and it would reduce those things, which at this point in time are present in many parts of the world, particularly in this part of the world,” he said.

Asian Population Association Conference

The Asian Population Association Conference includes discussions on internal migration and urbanization, trends in household and marriages, childbearing, domestic violence, and trends in aging populations.

Osotimehin says Asia is “generally doing well” in providing health services, but issues access need to be addressed. “What we need to drill down and do better is to ensure that there is equitable access - I think that is probably something which we would need to ensure that it is all inclusive," he stated. "And that it is equitable for everybody.  That in itself is a global problem, in this region it is just as obvious as in other parts of the world.”

The former Nigerian Minister of Health says attention needs to be focused in Asia on the issue of couple's using technology, such as ultrasound, to select male babies.  The UNFPA forecasts that by 2030 China and India may have  50 percent more men than women among those seeking marriage.

Equitable access

Osotimehin says South Korea has largely solved the problem, but in “other counties” it remains a “serious” issue. “The imbalance is actually getting very serious.  The inappropriate use of technologies in other parts we should discourage and we should ensure that we restore the natural balance between boys and girls in these countries.  We are working very hard with groups on the ground in those other countries - with government and with civil society in order to address these issues,” he explained.

He says other regions can learn a lot from Asia, especially how to benefit from from the “demographic advantage” of reduced population growth to boost their economies, as well as Asia’s “good practices” in reproductive health services, especially family planning.  

Following this conference, Osotimehin visits Burma to hold talks with senior government officials on steps how the UNFP can take to boost Burma’s human development after decades of neglect under military rule.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid