The following article offers a brief, well-written biographical sketch of Rafael M. Salas, the first executive director of UNFPA. The article was published on Rappler.com, a Philippines-focused social-news network where stories inspire community engagement and actions for social change. If you are interested to learn more about the history of UNFPA (beyond the influence of Mr. Salas) then this 2010 analysis (PDF) titled UNFPA In Context: An Institutional History may be of interest to you.
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Rafael M. Salas: ‘Mr Population’ who started it all
MANILA, Philippines – The world’s first-ever population program was created by a Filipino.
While the debate over the Reproductive Health (RH) bill has taken on different slants, narrowed down to sex, contraception, and abortion, many Filipinos today are unaware that a fellow Filipino started it all in the international arena.
Rafael M. Salas began a population management program that did not even mention sex, contraception, or abortion, but provided a broad perspective of people and development, and urged countries to adopt a population policy that centers on people and quality of life regardless of faiths and beliefs.
He continuously called for urgent government action among countries. “A population policy is a long-range strategic weapon,” he said in one of his messages in 1980. “Its effects are felt not immediately but a generation hence. To be effective, it must be launched now.”
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/12248-rafael-m-salas-mr-population-who-started-it-all
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