About Us: Global Advisory Committee and Partners

UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA because everyone counts

Meeting Development Goals

UNFPA seeks to improve the lives and expand the choices of individuals and couples. Over time, the reproductive choices they make, multiplied across communities and countries, alter population structures and trends.

UNFPA helps governments, at their request, to formulate policies and strategies to reduce poverty and support sustainable development. The Fund also assists countries to collect and analyse population data that can help them understand population trends. And it encourages governments to take into account the needs of future generations, as well as those alive today.

The close links between sustainable development and reproductive health and gender equality, the other main areas of UNFPA's work, were affirmed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. UNFPA is guided in its work by the Programme of Action adopted there. At the conference, 179 countries agreed that meeting needs for education and health, including reproductive health, is a prerequisite for sustainable development over the longer term. They also agreed on a roadmap for progress with the following goals:

  • Universal access to reproductive health services by 2015
  • Universal primary education and closing the gender gap in education by 2015
  • Reducing maternal mortality by 75 per cent by 2015
  • Reducing infant mortality
  • Increasing life expectancy
  • Reducing HIV infection rates

Reaching the goals of the Programme of Action is also essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These eight goals, which are fully aligned with the ICPD roadmap, have the overarching aim of reducing extreme poverty by half by 2015. UNFPA brings its special expertise in reproductive health and population issues to the worldwide collaborative effort of meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Promoting Gender Equality

Women can and must play a powerful role in sustainable development and poverty eradication. When women are educated and healthy, their families, communities and countries benefit. Yet gender-based discrimination and violence pervade almost every aspect of life, undermining the opportunities of women and denying them the ability to fully exercise their basic human rights.

Gender equality is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals as well as a human right. Investments in gender equality can improve the lives of both men and women, with lasting benefits for the next generations. For more than 30 years, UNFPA has been in the forefront of bringing gender issues to wider attention, promoting legal and policy reforms and gender-sensitive data collection, and supporting projects that empower women economically.


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United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Maaike  van Vliet
Senior Policy Advisor
220 East 42nd Street (DN-1728)
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Email: vanvliet@unfpa.org