Staff reporter

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck acknowledged the achievements made in advancing women’s rights since the inception of the international conference on population and development in the last 25 years.

Her Majesty made the acknowledgements in a pre-recorded video statement for the opening session of the 54th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) on April 19.

Her Majesty was invited to deliver the keynote by the chairperson of CPD, Ambassador Yemdaogo Eric Tiare, in recognition of Her Majesty’s outstanding contribution to raising awareness and devising solutions to population issues.

Last year, Her Majesty was selected as the individual laureate for the prestigious United Nations Population Award.

Her Majesty said that CPD’s achievements over the years include halving the maternal mortality rates, high rates of contraceptive use and expanded access to antiretroviral therapy.

The Queen Mother highlighted the need to recognise the remaining challenges confronting women and girls, which has been further deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic and called for bold and courageous initiatives to inspire innovative actions to promote rights and create a world where women’s equality is guaranteed, not granted.

Her Majesty said that the theme of the session “Population, food security, nutrition and sustainable development”, was timely.

According to the press release from the foreign ministry, Her Majesty shared Bhutan’s own experiences in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic under the dynamic and compassionate leadership of His Majesty The King.

She also encouraged the CPD to place women and girls’ dignity and compassion at the centre of all responses and the need for global solidarity and leadership to address humanity’s greatest challenges.

CPD monitors, reviews and assesses the implementation of the programme of action of the ICPD 1994. It contributes to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The four-day conference being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, will end on April 23 with adoption of the Commission’s report.