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Executive Director of the UNFPA Dr. Natalia Kanem recently went to Antigua and Barbuda for the “Wadadli Action Platform” in Antigua from 8 to 9 August 2022.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda in its capacity as Chair of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) convened the meeting which aimed to transform ambition and commitments for enhancing resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) into urgent and concrete actions. Key outcomes included enhanced visibility for challenges faced by SIDS in the era of COVID-19, climate change and other global challenges, new or enhanced partnerships for strengthening long-term resilience in SIDS, concrete commitments to address the issues in access to development finance that SIDS continue to face and the identification of key priorities and elements to guide the development of the new framework for SIDS at the Fourth International Conference on SIDS.

While at the WADADLI Conference  Dr. Kanem made a presentation entitled “Gender, Youth and Economic Empowerment and the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”. During her presentation she reminded participants that UNFPA was working hard to deliver a world that upholds rights for all because with the right support, there are no limits to human potential.

“The evidence is clear, access to sexual and reproductive health is a precondition for women and girls to take control of their bodies and lives, and chart their own destiny” she said.

She reminded further that people in SIDS countries have every right to live life in larger freedom. She said “for that dream to become reality, you and I cannot stand idly on the sidelines. Instead we must join in, as women, young people and persons with disabilities advocate for inclusion in policy making and for explicit recognition in economic agendas.”

She encouraged participants to combine their voices, resources, and ingenuity to lift people up, and break down every barrier holding back women and girls, young people and people who are differently abled. 

“We need to help each other. Because there are some successes no one can achieve alone” she said.

The Executive Director also used the opportunity to meet with various Ministers, government officials, partners and other stakeholders. Check out the photo highlights from her visit.