Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA executive director, passes away

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has passed away at his home in New York, US.

A Nigerian physician, he was a globally respected leader in the public health sphere, as well as a key figure in the empowerment of women and young people. He focused particularly on promoting human rights in population and development.

Announcing the news, the UNFPA explained that his professional background was in health and medicine, adding that he had a wide knowledge of the global and national frameworks and processes that were so critical to the UNFPA’s work.

Dr Osotimehin had previously served as Nigeria’s minister of health and as the director-general of the National Agency for the Control of HIV and AIDS, which coordinated all HIV/AIDS work in Nigeria.

He also chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Demographic Dividend and he was a Global Agenda Trustee for the Forum’s Global Challenge on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion.

The UNFPA said that after his appointment as its executive director, he spearheaded efforts in the international community to advance the milestone consensus of the International Conference on Population and Development, which was held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994.

Dr Osotimehin served two terms in this role. In his second, which began in 2015, he introduced reforms that went on to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the UNFPA. He also outlined what the UNFPA called “a more robust vision for improving the lives of women, adolescents and youth around the world with a focus on maternal health and voluntary family planning”.

Furthermore, he was responsible for steering the UNFPA’s humanitarian action and efforts around eliminating gender-based violence and other harmful practices.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801836587-ADNFCR