Former head of UN agency, Japanese organization receive UN population award

Former head of UN agency, Japanese organization receive UN population award

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today presented the 2001 United Nations Population Award to this year's two winners of the prize - Dr. Nafis Sadik, former Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and to the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.

The award is presented annually by the Committee for the UN Population Award for outstanding contributions to increasing the awareness of population problems and their solutions. The Committee is made up of UN Member States, with UNFPA serving as secretariat without the right to vote.

Dr. Sadik, a Pakistani national who served as UNFPA's Executive Director from 1987 through 2000, was the winner in the individual category. In a statement announcing the award, UNFPA underscored the significant contribution made by Dr. Sadik as she led the world's largest source of multilateral assistance to population programmes. "UNFPA's influence on world population policy is arguably stronger than that of any other agency or organization, largely because it speaks on behalf of all nations," the statement said.

The winner in the institutional category was the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP), which has made "very significant contributions" to population issues in the developing world and in Japan as well, the statement said.

JOICFP is the most experienced Japanese non-governmental organization internationally active in the field of population and reproductive health, according to UNFPA. It has projects in 26 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and is especially committed to contributing to health and education.