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Respected leaders from NHFPC, China Family Planning Association, Dear colleagues from the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission and Family Planning Association,

It is a great honor for me to participate in the commemoration of the World Population Day here in Nanjing. I would like to express my sincere thanks to NHFPC and CFPA for organizing the event, and to the Provincial and Municipal Population and Family Planning Commissions in Jiangsu and Nanjing for the strong support provided to commemorate the World Population Day.

World Population Day has been observed internationally since 1990 to enhance awareness of population issues, including their links to the environment and development. This year’s global theme focuses on voluntary family planning and its crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The success of the SDGs depends in part on the universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including voluntary family planning, particularly the goals to eradicate extreme poverty, to achieve good health and well-being and to achieve gender equality. Yet, currently about 214 million women worldwide have an unmet demand for modern family planning. Addressing these gaps is among the most cost-effective investments overall.

The national theme of the World Population Day focuses on how to ensure equitable services for migrant population. This is a great effort to adhering to the principle of “leaving no one behind” of the SDGs. Along with the rapid urbanization process in China, the scale and speed of internal migration has been on the rise. As a recent report from NHFPC shows, one in six of the Chinese population is a migrant, with the total number reaching 245 million by 2016. There are new trends emerging, affecting various segments of the population, including children, young people, women and the elderly. I must congratulate the Government of China for the progress made to ensure equitable access to essential social services, including sexual and reproductive health services, for migrants as well as other population groups affected by urbanization and migration.

UNFPA will continue to support the national partners to integrate population dynamics in rights-based development policy making, through the collection and utilization of high quality disaggregated population data at national and international levels.   We will also step up our efforts in promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation between China and other developing countries in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, including in reproductive health commodity security and humanitarian responses. The increased commitments from China on South-South and Triangular Cooperation will surely help efforts at overcoming the challenges in pursuing SDGs globally.

I wish you all a very successful celebration of the World Population Day.

Thank you!