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USP-UNFPA launch publication on Population and Development in the Pacific

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The Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra and the Director and Representative of UNFPA Pacific, Mr Dirk Jena during the book launch. Also in picture is Professor Biman Chand Prasad (right), the Dean of FBE.

A new publication on population and development in the Pacific region was jointly launched by The University of the South Pacific and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the USP Lower Campus in Suva on 20 April, 2011. Titled ‘Population and Development in the Pacific Islands: Accelerating the ICPD programme of Action at 15’, the publication contributes to furthering the Programme of Action of the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD). The bookis anticipated to be a comprehensive and useful resource for Pacific population and development issues for policy makers, academics, students, development partners and the general public. The 400-page publication was edited by a team led by Professor Waden Narsey from the School of Economics at USP which included the Dean of USP’s Faculty of Business and Economics, Professor Biman Chand Prasad, USP academic, Dr Kesaia Seniloli, and UNFPA representatives, Dr Annette Robertson and Dr Eduard Jongstra. In his address, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra described the publication as a “landmark resource” for academics and practitioners in the fields of population and development in the Pacific region. “The Pacific Islands face unique development challenges in the wake of the global economic crisis and the threat of adverse impact of the global environmental change, all combined with the obvious problems posed by relatively high population growth in some Pacific countries,” he explained. The book is a record of plenary presentations and discussions of the regional symposium on population and development issues in the Pacific which was organised by USP in November 2009. Professor Chandra highlighted the importance of the symposium as it brought together relevant stakeholders like policy makers, civil society representatives and academics from all over the Pacific. He added that the publication was a very good example of an output which will maximize the benefits of that conference. Professor Chandra further elaborated on USP’s role in the development of the region and highlighted that the University is undergoing a major transformation to pitch itself at a level to continue to provide a more innovative and transformational leadership in capacity building. He stated that the Population and Development Organising Committee was able to achieve considerable savings through tight budgeting which has been allocated by UNFPA to Population and Demography and Official Statistics programmes being offered at USP. As the premier tertiary institute in the region, Professor Chandra said that USP promotes better collaboration and cooperation with all its member countries and its development partners in conducting relevant research and consultancies. Professor Chandra acknowledged UNFPA’s support to the University’s work in the area of Population Studies and Official Statistics and added that the continuing partnership with UNFPA shows the University’s commitment to building long-term sustainable partnerships with all its development partners.   The Director and Representative of UNFPA Pacific, Mr Dirk Jena said it is an “honor” to be associated with USP in officially launching the book. He added that the publication reflects the stimulating review of the latest research in the fields of population and development for the region. Mr Jena commented that UNFPA was very pleased with USP’s efforts in this area especially in hosting the regional symposium in 2009. “This publication is a testimony of the hard work and innovative thinking that happened at the symposium,” he mentioned. In his concluding remarks, Professor Biman Prasad thanked the contributions made by USP and UNFPA including the editorial team towards the publication.  He said that as part of this sustainable partnership, USP has been able to re-look at its Statistics and Population and Demography programmes. “We hope that the funding that we have got from UNFPA will allow us to restructure the programmes into different components and particularly to deliver the programmes in a very flexible manner to all those who live in the Pacific region,” he added. The book launch was attended by representatives from regional and international organisations including UNFPA, members of the media, USP staff and students and invited guests.

This news item was published on 26 Apr 2011 05:15:26 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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