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UNFPA Pacific, Suva (July 10) - Investing in teenage girls is not only the right thing to do from a personal level as individuals, but it is also fundamentally, smart economics as it ensures a country is benefitting fully from its human resources as a whole.

As the world commemorates the 2016 World Population Day today, July 11 (Monday), the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, reiterates that while there have been major development milestones for Pacific nations in the last 20 years, there is still much more needed to be done specifically in ensuring that adolescent girls reach their full potential.

"Every teenage girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for her; UNFPA is committed to promoting and protecting their rights, while supporting teenage girls to determine their own destinies," UNFPA Pacific Director and Representative Dr Laurent Zessler said.

"To invest in your teenage girls is to unlock so much more potential to support national progress and very importantly, no one is left behind: we all play a role in our development, from individuals to national level."

The UNFPA fervently believes that investing in adolescent girls is critical to real progress in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the Pacific, UNFPA has provided technical support to 10 countries for the review of their education curriculum to ensure the Family Life subject is holistic and inclusive of life skills. If young people, particularly girls, have correct and timely information, they can make informed decisions and have autonomy over their bodies.

The UNFPA, in supporting Pacific UN member states in research and national activities like census, emphasize disaggregation of data so development plans are informed, particularly in terms of ensuring targeted approaches that aims to address development gaps related to adolescent girls.

In Fiji, the UNFPA is presently working with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to finalize a Training Manual for Young People in Sexual Reproductive Health; this particular initiative includes a Training for Trainers for those who will implement the Sexual Reproductive Health manual.

The UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office will host representatives from schools tomorrow (Tuesday) to an Inspirational Stories Collection gathering during which young men and women who have succeeded in their respective professional fields will share their journeys to students.

[For more information, please contact Ariela Zibiah on +679 9991697 or email: [email protected]]