New York, June 28, 2013: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented the 2013 prestigious UN Population Award, which included a Diploma, Medal and a cash prize, to Dr. Jotham Musinguzi of Uganda at UN Headquarters in New York.
Dr. Musinguzi was selected in recognition of his outstanding work to promote the International Conference on Population and Development principle that reproductive health must be a key component of any general strategy of social and economic development. He was also commended for his central role in negotiations leading to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals; for increasing access to and investments in family planning and advances in public policy in Uganda and throughout Africa; and for drawing the attention of the media and politicians to population concerns. His major role in the preparation of the Plan of Action on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, known as the Maputo Plan of Action was also recognized.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon said, “I applaud Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, this year’s winner in the individual category. He has been a strong advocate for reproductive health throughout his distinguished career. Dr. Musinguzi is respected by his peers, and his views have been heard by political leaders around the world.”
In his acceptance speech, Dr Musinguzi acknowledged the support he has received from many distinguished and respected partners, donors, foundations, governments, civil society organizations, activists, advocates, academia, and professional societies, among others. He said “I would like to use occasion to acknowledge their invaluable support and encouragement.”
Dr. Musinguzi recalled that many positive developments were taking place in reproductive health, family planning and population dynamics. He cited the London Family Planning Summit of July 2012 hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK government, working closely with UNFPA and USAID which was a huge success in terms fundraising from both donors and national Governments. The participation of Heads of States including Presidents Museveni of Uganda, Kagame of Rwanda, and Kikwete of Tanzania showed increased political commitment.
The 2013 UN Population Award Laureate noted that in Uganda, over 200,000 young girls and women continue to suffer from a very dehumanizing condition of Obstetric Fistula. He pointed out that only 1,300 cases get repaired every year, leaving a huge backlog unattended to. He made a personal pledge, in appreciation of the Award, to donate the Monetary Prize of the Award to an NGO in Uganda that addresses Obstetric Fistula in a comprehensive manner by addressing prevention, treatment as well as social integration of those affected.
The colourful Award ceremony was attended by Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Richard Nduhuura, representatives of UN member states, civil society, and a delegation of Dr. Musinguzi’s family including his wife, among other dignitaries.