Press Release

UNFPA’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director arrives in Sri Lanka to forge partnerships for women, youth and the elderly

5 October 2017

The newly appointed Asia Pacific Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Mr. Bjorn Andersson, will arrive in the island on 6 October 2017 for a 5-day mission. This will be his first official mission since taking up his post as Regional Director in September 2017.

Mr. Anderson will participate in the 12th General Assembly of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), which will be held in Colombo this year. The AFPPD is a regional non-governmental organization, supported by UNFPA, that serves as a coordinating body of 29 national committees of parliamentarians on population development.

I’m delighted to be heading to Sri Lanka, a country with leading socio-economic indicators in the region. I am very much looking forward to working with partners in Sri Lanka and Parliamentarians from across Asia-Pacific to advance progress on reproductive health and rights, the wider ICPD agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Andersson.

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) programme of action was adopted by 179 countries in 1994. The programme acknowledged reproductive health and rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, as cornerstones of population and development programmes.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace, prosperity and healthy fulfilling lives by 2030.

During Mr. Andersson’s mission in Sri Lanka, he also plans to engage in a series of high-level meetings to discuss the work of the UNFPA in Sri Lanka. Scheduled meetings include discussions with the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Women Affairs and Children, Ministry of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine, Ministry of Social Empowerment, Welfare, and Kandyan Heritage, Ministry of Skills, Development and Vocational Training, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education, Department of Census and Statistics, and the University of Colombo.

Mr. Andersson is a Swedish National with over 25 years of extensive experience in international development cooperation, both in the bilateral and multilateral arena. He has held key positions in programme management, policy development, and strategic organization management, in the UN system and with government agencies.  

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the lead UN Agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. With significant demographic shifts in the Asia Pacific region in particular, UNFPA’s work is increasingly important in ensuring countries use population data to drive evidence-based policies that enable the full realization of reproductive and health rights of women, young people, and the elderly.