Skip to main content
SG/SM/21413

Secretary-General Saddened by Passing of Nafis Sadik, First Woman to Head United Nations Population Fund

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is saddened to learn of the passing of Nafis Sadik, the former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and his Special Advisor and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

When Dr. Sadik took up her post at UNFPA in 1987, she became the first woman to head one of the United Nations’ major voluntarily-funded programmes.  She consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women, and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy, which she believed was particularly important for population policies and programmes.

Dr. Sadik will be remembered for her significant contributions to women’s health and rights and population policies and for her tireless efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.  The Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences to her friends and family.

For information media. Not an official record.