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UN agencies continue to bring their fields of specialization to Summit

UN agencies continue to bring their fields of specialization to Summit

UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid
As a record number of world leaders convene at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the second day, the United Nations' specialized agencies continue to call attention to their respective fields of interest and their importance for reaching development goals and reforming the Organization.

Addressing leaders at an interactive round-table session at the Summit, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said women’s empowerment and gender equality are at the heart of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the ambitious, internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty and other ills by 2015.

“Making the human rights of women and youth a priority will ensure progress for all,” Ms Obaid said. “Their health and well-being are critical to the success we are trying to achieve, she added, stressing also that greater investments need to be made in public health and public health systems in general, in developing countries.

For its part, the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) stressed that increased tourism is one of the most effective tools for sustainable growth in the world’s poorest countries, in a declaration agreed upon by representatives from governments and industry meeting in New York on the eve of the Summit.

“Tourism needs greater recognition by governments and development institutions for its capacity to generate economic, environmental and social benefits,” said WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli at the meeting. “It can play a key role in the overall achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” he added.