Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, died on Sunday night at his home.
"Our world lost a great champion of well-being for all, especially women & girls," tweeted U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Nigerian doctor, 68, had led the UNFPA since 2011. The year that he was appointed, an article in The Lancetmade it clear how this father of five was guided by lessons from his own parenthood. He told how his children "teach me about their own lives" – and how he was going to let the world's young people teach him in his new job: "Too often we imagine that we know what young people need" but to his mind, adults need to "listen and experience, to learn about our children, our ability to allow them their space."
That philosophy guided his work at UNFPA. "Family planning is not a privilege but a right. Yet, too many women — and men — are denied this human right," Osotimehin said in 2012.
He sought to eliminate preventable maternal deaths and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation. And he aimed to ensure access to family planning for all."
Read article by Courtney Columbus from NPR.