18 Sep 2013

Population meeting told youth sexual health will be priority in region

7:21 pm on 18 September 2013

A Pacific Island delegation has told an international forum countries in the region intend to make young people's sexual health and rights a priority.

The delegates at the Asian and Pacific Population Conference in Thailand say gender-based violence will need to be dealt with in all sexual and reproductive health programmes and services.

The Cook Islands Minister of Health Nandi Glassie says to combat the region's high rates of teenage pregnancy countries intend to establish services for youth in schools, churches, youth groups and communities.

He says the countries also endorse making access to contraception and information a priority.

The Pacific delegation included Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

The conference is a once-in-decade gathering which shapes the regional population agenda.