Ways in which Barbados and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) can work together to ensure the sexual and reproductive health of Barbadians were discussed recently, when that organisation???s Sub-regional Director, Sheila Roseau, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.

During the meeting at the Ministry???s Culloden Road headquarters, the Minister noted that there needed to be greater dialogue within CARICOM so that a regional position could be taken on issues, particularly as it related to the move from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will come into effect after 2015.

Senator McClean added that the issue of vulnerability in the region was still very real, even though most of the countries were classified as ???middle income???. She said that such a classification could place Barbados and other countries in the region at a disadvantage in obtaining assistance in this area, and urged the Sub-regional Representative to include that reality into UNFPA programming and planning.

Ms. Roseau agreed that the UNFPA had a critical role to play in emergencies, particularly as it related to pregnant mothers, babies and reproductive health in general. She also spoke to the upcoming Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and urged Barbados to participate, as these meetings would chart the way forward for development goals post-2015.


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