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The newly appointed UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) Representative in Bangladesh, Ms. Asa Britta Torkelsson, formally presented her credentials to the Foreign Minister, Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP at his office on 21 March 2018. A national of Sweden, Ms. Asa Torkelsson brings with her an extensive and distinguished career in various UN offices all over the world, specializing in the field of women’s empowerment, development economics and international development.

Accepting the Credential Letter, the Foreign Minister congratulated Ms. Torkelsson for her new appointment and welcomed her to the country. Referring to the long-standing partnership between Bangladesh and United Nations Population Fund, Mr. Ali expressed his appreciation for UNFPA’s support and contribution in Bangladesh to improve maternal health, sexual and reproductive health and gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence and child marriage, and population and development. The Foreign Minister also highlighted the development progress that is taking place to shift the country’s status from one of the least developed countries to a middle income country and Bangladesh’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals under the visionary leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

UNFPA’s Representative also congratulated Bangladesh on its success in achieving Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the areas of poverty alleviation, primary school enrolment, and gender parity in primary and secondary level education. She also conveyed the commendable progress made in lowering the infant and under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio. Ms. Torkelsson shared her commitment to continue working with the Government of Bangladesh to end preventable maternal and neonatal death, violence and harmful practices against women and girls, including child marriage, and also to addressing the unmet need for family planning.