UNFPA Director and Representative presents credentials to Kiribati

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) Director and Representative for the Pacific Sub-regional Office based in Fiji, Dr. Laurent Zessler met with President Anote Tong on Monday to present his Letters of Credence.

As Director and Representative for the region, Dr. Zessler will be overseeing UNFPA’s focus in Kiribati which includes the repositioning of family planning, contributing to gender equality and reproductive rights, enhancing young people’s sexual and reproductive health and, improving data availability and analysis.


An estimated budget of USD$1,753,971 is set for Kiribati to cover the period of 2013 to 2017 according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).

Through its area of focus, UNFPA’s work in Kiribati is channeled through four outputs namely:

  1. Strengthening national capacity to deliver high-quality family planning and sexual reproductive health services, information, commodities and community-based interventions for family resource management;
  2. Strengthening national capacity of health-care providers to address gender-based violence through the provision of high-quality health services, including humanitarian settings;
  3. Strengthening  national capacity to deliver high-quality sexual and reproductive health service and information, including family planning and services to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections for young people;
  4. Strengthening national capacity for increased availability, analysis and utilization of data for informed decision-making and policy formulation on population dynamics, youth, gender equality and sexual and reproductive health, including family planning.

During the presentation of credentials, President Tong discussed with Dr. Zessler ways forward in fast-tracking and achieving Kiribati-UNFPA priority targets particularly in the area of population and reproductive health which are crucial areas in Kiribati’s social and economic development.

“During the bilateral meeting, President Tong and Dr. Zessler discussed a plan to have a UNFPA presence at the UN Joint Presence office in Kiribati in order to effectively and further enhance UNFPA’s work on the ground.” A report from MFAI added.

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.   It plays a unique role within the United Nations system to addressing population and development issues, with an emphasis on reproductive health and gender equality, within the context of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals.