5 February 2018

Gambia: UNFPA Rep Present Letter of Credence to Foreign Affairs Minister

Kunle Adeniyi, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative on Friday 2nd February 2018 presented his letter of credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Presenting his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs as the 1st UNFPA Resident Representative in the Gambia, Mr. Kunle Adeniyi and the Foreign Affairs Minister Ousainou Darboe, both renew their commitment to reducing maternal deaths in the Gambia, to zero.

Mr. Adeniyi who spent nearly a year in the Gambia as the Head of Office, has been appointed by the UNFPA Executive Director as their representative resident in the Gambia.

Speaking to the Foreign Affairs Minister after presenting his credentials, the UNFPA Resident Representative said it was very significant for him to present his credential to Government as the UNFPA head in the Gambia.

He said UNFPA has been in the Gambia for 45 years and are proud to work in areas such as reducing maternal death, gender based violence and women's sexual reproductive health and rights including child marriage and FGM and youth; that making sure every young person's potential is fulfilled. He said they have been given a very conducive environment to do their work in the Gambia; that Government has seen the good work that UNFPA is doing in and has requested for full representation status of the UNFPA in the Gambia. He said the request was granted this year and he has since been appointed as UNFPA Resident Representative in the Gambia.

"In the last 20 years, UNFPA has cut down maternal deaths to half in the Gambia, Gender Based violence and the unmet need for Family Planning for women and young people, to be able to decide on their sexuality and how often they want to have children and at the right time. If not the sole but 99% of FP Commodities in the Gambia, is provided by UNFPA", he said.

He said they have worked very hard to advocate and influence laws on women's rights, criminalizing FGM and Child Marriage among other laws in the Gambia; that they are here to support Government and people of the Gambia and to continue to ensure that the SDG's are attained. He further stated that they will be receiving the youth envoy of the UN SG in the Gambia for two days; that the youth envoy will be here to see the programs for youth and will meet with Government officials, young people and other stakeholders, to see the good work done in the areas of youth in the Gambia.

Also speaking was Mr. Ousainou Darboe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said Government appreciates UNFPA's engagement in the Gambia; that they are in partnership to make sure those women and youth are in good shape. He said youth are their greatest asset and they are putting all efforts together to ensure that they are taken care of.

"We want to reduce maternal death to zero in the Gambia and Government is committed to that. We all want to make sure that the goals set in the SDG's are attained", he said.

He assured the UNFPA head in the country, that their doors will always be open to them at any time because Government wants to be pragmatic in their approach. He welcomed Mr. Kunle's appointment and assured him that his tenure will be fruitful while enjoining him to lay down a solid foundation in the Gambian perspective in achieving his goals.

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