Restless Development staff have paid tribute to the legacy Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Babatunde Osotimehin, who has passed away at the age of 68.
Dr Osotimehin worked tirelessly to campaign for young people and youth rights during his time at the UN.
While in office, he oversaw the release of the pivotal and hugely influential State of the World report which looked at the specific needs, challenges and aspirations of the 1.8 billion young people in the world.
In his foreword to the report, Dr Osotimehin wrote: “Never before have there been so many young people. Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people will define our common future.”
He continued his work with Youth Power, providing the opening remarks at a meeting in Istanbul last summer, which discussed a new Youth Compact to emphasise the needs and safeguard the rights of young people and engage them in humanitarian response efforts. Restless Development was involved in the process of creating the Compact.
Rosanne Palmer-White, UK Director of Restless Development, said Dr Osotimehin had made a crucial contribution to the youth movement.
She added: “Babatunde Osotimehin used his platform to advocate for the rights of young people, bringing them to the table to help make the major decisions which will affect their lives across the world.
“The State of the World report, which focused on this moment of Peak Youth, highlighted for many that now is the time for the 1.8 billion young people in the world to be part of global change. By drawing attention to this issue, he had a monumental impact on the debate.
“He will be sorely missed and his legacy will continue to be felt for years to come.”