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The Power of Choice: State of World Population Report 2018


When: 12 noon, October 17, 2018

Where: Suva, Fiji

Rights and choice are at the centre of the mandate of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

The rights of people to decide for themselves if and when to marry or be in a partnership; whether and when to have children, and how many.

For women, reproductive rights and choice are key to genuine gender equality and empowerment – the achievement of which is a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 underpinning Sustainable Development Goals with their ultimate pledge to leave no one behind.

The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can therefore bolster social and economic development – impacting individuals, families, communities, societies and entire nations.

But, even in the world of today, rights and choice remain elusive for far too many – including across the island-nations of the Pacific.

“Adolescent birth rates are increasing in 10 out of 14 countries and territories in our region – and a lack of sound information on, and access to, sexual and reproductive health information and crucial services including contraception,” said Bruce Campbell, Director of UNFPA’s sub-regional office in the Pacific

Far too many women continue to die while giving birth in many of our nations, demonstrating a lack of necessary health services and support when it comes to safe pregnancy and childbirth.

Rates of violence against women in the Pacific remain amongst the highest in the world – demonstrating that the issues of choice and access to basic human rights for survivors of violence also remain elusive.

All of these issues are linked to the power of choice – issues that we explore in our flagship annual State of World Population Report 2018, with real-life stories and data that paint a compelling picture of the realities of gender equality, reproductive rights, fertility, demographic transitions and future trends around the world and right here in the Pacific.

Join us in understanding how addressing these issues can transform the lives of all who call the Pacific region home – working towards a world with zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence – UNFPA’s Three Transformative Results aligned with the SDGs, placing rights and choice firmly at the centre.

The 2018 SWOP Report will be available in an interactive format online at 16:01 on Wednesday, October 17 at

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