Members of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Youth Advisory Group (YAG) were trained to advocate in areas of Gender Based Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Sexual Violence, Gender Equality, the UNFPA 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, among other topics, at a workshop held on December 9, 2017 in observance of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
The sessions were facilitated by staff from UNFPA's Suriname Liaison Office, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Social Protection, and the Ministry of Public Health.
In September 58 staff from FAO, IOM, PAHO/WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNICEF and the UN RCO participated in a training on the Core and LGBTI modules of the UN for All programme. The modules highlight a new stage in the work of UN Cares on stigma and discrimination and human rights.
Topics included Unconscious Bias; the human realities related to sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, mental health status, and substance abuse; and the language of inclusion. The sessions built on previous activities hosted by the inter-agency UN Cares Group that resulted in the UN Cares Guyana team winning the UN Cares Global Award for reaching UN staff with UN Cares Learning Sessions in 2014.
UN Cares Minimum Standard 10, which highlights managerial commitment, was fully embraced with the high level of support of the UN Country Team, who were present along with their staff. The sessions were interactive and participatory, which was well received by staff. “Trainings like these should be annual and included in orientation for new staff,” said Shonelle Chase-Wishart, Programme Associate at the UNDP office. Resident Coordinator, Mikiko Tanaka noted that the training provided insight into the need for the creation of a more respectful and non-discriminatory work place. “Now we need to translate this into action,” she said.
The UN for All training provided an opportunity for strategic reflection on how staff can make their work place and the UN system an inclusive work environment free of discrimination. UN for All is a UN System-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the UN workplace.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) envisions a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child-birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Who We Are
UNFPA is the world’s largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programmes. The Fund works with governments at their request to support national development programmes. UNFPA is represented in the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean through a Sub-Regional Office (SRO) based in Jamaica. The SRO includes Liaison Offices in Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, which support the provision of technical assistance, capacity development and knowledge management as well as advocacy and policy advice to its counterparts in 22 countries and territories in the region.
Support to government is provided through a Multi-Country Programme. The current support programme covers the period 2017-2021. UNFPA’s support to the Government of Guyana is based on the country’s national development strategy. Working together with partners including government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UNFPA is assisting the government to accelerate progress on the ICPD agenda by strategically focusing on the following:
The UNFPA is working closely with its partners to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. This includes ensuring that individuals and couples, especially those who are vulnerable, have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services to help them decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children. When a woman can exercise her reproductive rights, she is better able to enjoy other freedoms and opportunities—from education to employment to full participation.
The Fund and partners are also working to reduce maternal mortality through the provision of quality care to women giving birth. This includes voluntary family planning, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care when needed.
Through the development of an Integrated Strategic Framework, UNFPA and CARICOM are working to reduce adolescent pregnancy by 20 % during 2014-2019. This effort will safeguard adolescents’ access to quality sexual and reproductive health services and commodities; age appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education; social protection mechanisms for the prevention of all forms of violence; and countries adopt common legal standards concerning age of marriage and consent across the region.
UNFPA is working closely with Member States, UN agencies, CARICOM, the OECS and civil society to ensure that the global processes in 2014 –2015 protect and advance the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Agenda and ensure that it is at the center of the post-2015 development framework.
Alison Drayton has worked in UNDP for fifteen years in a series of functions both globally and in our region, most recently at RBLAC as Senior Advisor. In that capacity she led the formulation of Regional Human Development Report focused on multi-dimensional progress in the Caribbean for which Alison provided strategic advice to RBLAC Senior Management on engagement with Caribbean partner institutions, governments and thought leaders in the preparation of the report.
Alison also provided strategic advice on Financing for Development (FFD) issues as they concerned the Caribbean and was part of the UNDP Samoa Conference preparation team based in the Pacific to prepare UNDP’s inputs into Samoa pathway. During her last year in New York, Alison also supported BERA efforts in relation to issues of importance to the Caribbean including support and input for the EU Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) strategy post-Cotonou in close collaboration with UNDP’s Brussels office. Alison served as Director for the Division for UN Affairs (DUNA) in BERA from 2009 – 2012 leading the team working on UN reform issues and the former TCPRs. She has extensive experience in intergovernmental negotiations on UN reform, sustainable development, climate change and other key development issues. Before joining UNDP in 2001 Alison served in the Government of Guyana in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ultimately serving as Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Guyana 1997 – 2001 during which time Guyana held the chair of the G77. She has also served as a Political Officer in the Commonwealth Secretariat and was Special Advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly in 1993 – 4.
Alison was in the NYU Masters Programme on Public Administration and holds BA Honors in History and Politics from the University of London.
How a UNFPA project is making a difference
“Adolescent mothers as a group face challenges arising from the stage of adolescent development as well as pregnancy and motherhood. They live in worlds which hold different and sometimes conflicting expectations of them. They are required to balance the results of changes in their lives, often without guidance and support, to make the transition from adolescent to mother.” [Extract from Listen to these stories: the Experiences, Pitfalls and Triumphs of Adolescent Mothers in Guyana - 2011]
A landmark project which was implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Women Across Differences (WAD) ngo addressed the issue of adolescent mothers in Guyana. When this project was launched in 2008, it was envisaged that the project would result in changes for the individuals, including:
- A reduction of unplanned pregnancies
- Increased self-confidence through access to Sexual and Reproductive Health/Family Planning Information and Services
- Acquisition of entrepreneurial knowledge and literacy skills and
- Adoption of more positive lifestyles.