Nairobi, 15 February 2017 – A two-day conference on urban innovation in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is underway at the UN Complex, Nairobi. This initiative is hosted by United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with the Linköping University and University of Borås, Sweden. The symposium discussed ways in which cities can help improve the quality of life through better health care and in particular sexual and productive health and rights.

The first session was moderated by Doug Ragan, UN Habitat’s chief of youth and livelihood and was presided by two chief guests, namely – Nikolai Botev, Somalia’s representative for UNFPA and Göran Collste, Professor of Applied Ethics from Linköping University.

The interactive meeting discussed the importance of educating the youth and particularly empowering young girls and women to not be ashamed of certain aspects of their lives such as adolescence and puberty. Prof. Collste showcased a detailed presentation that pointed out the global ethics involved in globalization such as migration and healthcare providers. He also noted a few mistakes that society made that are hindering the development of globalization such as cultural relativism.

“Innovation is not only about technology and new ways to deliver services, it also involves new ways of thinking and finding new opportunities for development.” Collste added as he concluded the presentation. The youth being the focus of this conference - can ensure future sustainable and equitable approaches to SRHR with increased use of technology. With the help of ICT, the current youth demographic can serve as a major reservoir of productivity that can shape SRHR in urban contexts.