BEIJING — The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working and will work more closely with China on population and development issues, according to an official with UNFPA.
Bjorn Andersson, head of the fund’s operations in Asia and the Pacific, made the remarks in an interview Friday during his three-day visit to Beijing, in the middle of the UNFPA’s Eighth Country Program (2016-2020) for China.
The program focuses on key areas, including sexual and reproductive health, adolescents and youth, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and population dynamics in China.
Andersson hailed China’s contribution to international cooperation, and the progress the country has made over the years in its population and development work.
“China’s experience in developing its mega-cities is something important to be shared with other member states of the UN, especially in improving the public transportation system and management of pollution,” he told Xinhua.
He also spoke highly of China’s efforts in promoting sexual and reproductive health, with measures such as integrating content like life skills and self-protection into education.
As next year will mark 40 years of collaboration between UNFPA and China, it reflects that there has been a mutual interest between both sides, and maintaining the relationship is important for UNFPA, according to Andersson, who took up his position last September.
“China can draw on UNFPA’s support to its government in terms of research and other issues,” he said.
“UNFPA will continue to support China in the key areas of the aforementioned program, with methods such as training and improving the ranks of healthcare workers, promoting safe deliveries and pregnancies, and more,” Andersson said.
According to the UNFPA document on the program, its collaboration with China in sexual and reproductive health has been underway, with the China Maternal and Child Health Association involved in advocating for the promotion of natural deliveries, and the creation of a midwife profession within the health system.
Work in other key areas is also going forward, as UNFPA is looking to help advocate for life-skills based comprehensive sexuality education, prevent and respond to gender-based violence, and promote equitable and healthy aging among other measures in China, according to the document.