Zhuhai, China

02 December 2014

Secretary-General's message to the World Family Summit +10 [delivered by Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA]

I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at the World Family Summit +10. I thank the Government of China for organizing and hosting this important forum for policy dialogue and experience sharing. I acknowledge the World Family Organization’s efforts to improve the lives of families and ensure that the concerns of families are addressed in development processes.

Your milestone gathering comes as the international community strives to intensify progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals while shaping an ambitious new vision for sustainable development for the long-term future. To reach these twin objectives, we must meet the needs of families.

Families provide economic and emotional sustenance to their members. They play a critical role in socializing and educating younger generations, and in providing care for older persons. Families can raise productive, caring citizens committed to the common good.  Strong, well-functioning families, whatever form they may take, can help reduce poverty, improve the wellbeing of individuals and societies, promote gender equality and uphold human rights.

Support for families is crucial to ushering in a more sustainable future.  That means factoring their needs into development policies, considering their circumstances in addressing conflicts, and advocating for the equal treatment of all families, regardless of their structure.

We must also mobilize the world’s families to address emerging challenges related to changing age structures, rapid urbanization and migration, communicable diseases, humanitarian crises and new threats to peace and security.

In this effort, we must take special steps to unleash the power of women, who play a critical role in so many of the world’s families and yet too often suffer from discrimination and abuse. Study after study shows that when we ensure equality in nutrition, education and opportunities for women, their children flourish.

I count on you to help generate bold ideas for building the equitable, sustainable, inclusive future we all want.

Let us resolve to support families and help them foster strong communities where all people can enjoy lives of dignity.