Statement on the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin (UNFPA)

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). At Rutgers, we were inspired by the work Dr. Osotimehin has done throughout his career, including HIV and AIDS work, and his dedication to gender equality.

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin“We were honored to work with and alongside of him to advance Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” said Ton Coenen, Executive Director of Rutgers. “Dr. Osotimehin has always advocated for cooperation with governments, as he has united leaders to work towards sustainable development. He has been a friend and an ally to Rutgers, and we mourn his sudden passing.”

As the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and former Minister of Health in Nigeria, Dr. Osotimehin has been a crucial leader and change maker in the field of reproductive health and rights. His focus on youth helped UNFPA to prioritize the needs and rights of girls and boys across the globe.

Last year, Rutgers welcomed Dr. Osotimehin as a keynote speaker at the ‘I Commit to Deliver for Youth SRHR’ event, as part of the global Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen. “Comprehensive sexuality education is a must”, he told the audience of SRHR experts and organizations. As he pointed out, “Gender equality is vital to sustainable development, peace and security. It’s not just a women’s issue. It’s an issue for all of humanity.”

On behalf of everyone at Rutgers, we’d like to extend our condolences to Dr. Osotimehin’s family and colleagues at UNFPA during this difficult time.