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Founder of WHARC Appointed a Member of The UNFPA High-Level Commission On ICPD25 Follow-Up

A new High-Level Commission of advocates, experts and activists was established on the 19th November, 2019 to help commitments to women’s health and rights made at the November 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 stay on track, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is blocking access to essential services, such as family planning and antenatal care.


Professor Friday Okonofua, founder of the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) and founding editor of the African Journal of Reproductive Health (AJRH), was appointed a member of the ICPD25 Follow-up Commissioners.


The Nairobi Summit secured billions of dollars in commitments from governments, the private sector, foundations and others. It rallied support to achieve “three zeros” – zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths, zero gender-based violence and harmful practices – in 10 years.

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, and the governments of Denmark and Kenya convened the Summit 25 years after the landmark International Conference on Population and Development, which culminated in a global agreement that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a necessity for growth and prosperity. But progress in securing these rights has stalled.

“Since the Nairobi Summit, the road to 2030 and the achievement of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all has grown steeper due to COVID-19,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “Yet we continue to forge ahead, to back up words with deeds and action on the ground. The new High-Level Commission will help all of us who made commitments in Nairobi keep those promises.”

Like the delegates at the Nairobi Summit, the membership of the High-Level Commission is radically inclusive. Chaired by H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and H.E. Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada, its members range from former heads of state to grassroots activists and youth.

The Commission will monitor and report on progress towards fulfilling the 1,250 commitments made at the Nairobi Summit, and in particular the 12 global commitments contained in the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25, and make recommendations for removing bottlenecks so that the sexual and reproductive health and rights community maintains its momentum towards a world of rights and choices for all.

More information about the High-Level Commision, its members and activities can be found here:

For media and interview enquiries, please contact:
Eddie Wright: +1 917 831 2074; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


High-Level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up Commissioners

  1. Mr. Hatim Aznague, Founder & President of the “Sustainable Development's Youth” Association
  2. Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General, IPPF 
  3. Mr. Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary, Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance 
  4. Ms. Franka Cadée, President, International Confederation of Midwives
  5. Ms. Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  6. Ms. Alexandra Chichikova, Miss World Wheelchair 2017; advocate for SRHR and GBV among people with disabilities 
  7. Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union 
  8. Mr. Henk de Jong, Chief of International Markets, Royal Philips
  9. Ms. Jaha Dukureh, CEO, Safe Hands for Girls 
  10. Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers
  11. Ms. Senait Fisseha, Director, International Programs, Susan Buffett Foundation
  12. H.E. Michaëlle Jean  (Co-chair), 27th Governor General of Canada; 3rd Secretary General of the International Organization of la Francophonie
  13. Ms. Lorence Kabasele , President of AfriYAN (ESA)
  14. Mr. Martin Karadzhov, Chair of the Youth Steering Committee of ILGA World (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)
  15. Mr. Sangeet Kayastha, Coordinator, Y-PEER Asia-Pacific Center
  16. H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete (Co-chair), Former President, United Republic of Tanzania 
  17. Mr. Hans Linde, Chairman, Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning (RFSU)
  18. Hon. Angélica Lozano, Senator, Parliament, Colombia 
  19. Dr. Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive, Overseas Development Institute
  20. Ms. Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women
  21. Ms. Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network
  22. Professor Friday Okonofua, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Benin
  23. Ms. Bandana Rana, Vice Chair, UN CEDAW Committee
  24. Professor Gamal Serour, Director, International Islamic Center for Population Studies, Al-Azhar University, Cairo
  25. Professor Keizo Takemi, Universal Health Coverage Advocate 
  26. Dr. Nahid Toubia, Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Director of RAINBO (Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women)
  27. Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, Envoy of the Secretary-General on Youth, UN 

28.. H.E. Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, Secretary of the Board, Partners in Population and Development, Minister of Social Development, South Africa

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25

  • More than 8,300 people participated in the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 (The official number is 8,355)
  • Summit participants included more than 2,500 heads of state and other top government officials and more than 2,300 representatives from civil society and grassroots and women’s rights organizations
  • Over 170 countries and territories were represented at the summit (The official number is 173)
  • More than 1,200 commitments have been pledged by governments, international and national partner organizations and others (The official number is 1,253 as of 21 January 2020)
  • A total of USD $8 billion was pledged by private institutions.
  • Additional pledges from public sector donors at the Nairobi Summit included:
  • Norway pledged NOK 10.4 billion (USD 1.2 billion) for sexual and reproductive health and rights issues for 2020-2025. Norway has also pledged NOK 1 billion for 2019-2021 for sexual and reproductive health and rights services in humanitarian settings.
  • UK pledged GBP 425 million (USD 546 million) for UNFPA Supplies for 2019 – 2024.
  • The European Commission launched a new call for proposals for sexual and reproductive health to a value of EUR 29 million (USD 31 million).
  • Germany pledged an additional EUR 20 million (USD 22 million) to achieving the ICPD Programme of Action.

Denmark pledged an extra DKK 100 million (USD 15 million) for UNFPA in 2019.

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