Statement on the Passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehim, UNFPA Chief

Refugees International mourns the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a champion of efforts to promote sexual and reproductive rights. It is both critical and extremely difficult to guarantee these rights in situations of humanitarian crisis, and Dr. Osotimehin recognized this important challenge.  

In 2015, referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Director Osotimehin emphasized the need for a universal agenda that would leave no one behind and would build resilience. He said that this “means ensuring protection from gender-based violence and empowering women and young people in all settings, particularly those who are affected by crises and disasters who are often the hardest to reach. It means ensuring safe birth everywhere, even under the harshest conditions.”  

Refugees and displaced persons had a true friend in Dr. Osotimehin, and Refugees International offers its sincere condolences to his family and his colleagues at UNFPA.