Bangladesh a development role model: New UNFPA representative

The new representative of the UNFPA has called Bangladesh “a development role model” for its success and achievements in health, family planning, female education, women’s empowerment and socio-economic development.

Published : 21 March 2018, 02:17 PM
Updated : 21 March 2018, 02:17 PM

Asa Britta Torkelsson also expressed her “deep satisfaction” over UNFPA’s partnership with the government of Bangladesh.

She was presenting her credentials to Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali at the latter’s office on Wednesday, the UN population agency and the foreign ministry said in separate statements.

The UNFPA said, a national of Sweden, Asa Torkelsson brings with her an “extensive and distinguished” career in various UN offices all over the world, specialising in the field of women’s empowerment, development economics and international development.

The foreign minister welcomed her to Bangladesh.

She briefed the foreign minister about the trajectory of UNFPA’s activities moving forward in Bangladesh and prospective collaborations with the various agencies of the government.

They exchanged their views on strengthening the “working relationship” between UNFPA and the government of Bangladesh.

The UNFPA representative also congratulated Bangladesh on its success in achieving MDGs, particularly in the areas of poverty alleviation, primary school enrolment, and gender parity in primary and secondary level education.

She also conveyed the “commendable” progress made in lowering the infant and under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio.

Torkelsson shared her commitment to continue working with the government of Bangladesh to end preventable maternal and neonatal death, violence and harmful practices against women and girls, including child marriage, and also to address the unmet need for family planning.

The foreign minister expressed his appreciation for UNFPA’s support and contribution in Bangladesh to improve maternal health, sexual and reproductive health and gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence and child marriage, and population and development.

He also highlighted the development progress that is taking place to shift the country’s status from one of the least developed countries to a middle-income country and Bangladesh’s commitment to achieving the SDGs.