The Ministry of Home Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund held a dialogue today in the Ballroom of Torarica as part of the celebration of the annual publication of the “State of the World Population”. The theme of the publication is: “Unfinished Business – The pursuit of rights and choices for all”. During this meeting government officials and civil society organizations, including youth-led organizations such as; Stichting Lobi, Medical Mission and others have deliberated on the positive issues that have been achieved, as well as the changing social, economic and institutional barriers that women face in exercising their reproductive rights. In addition to the publication, this year also marks two important milestones in the field of reproductive health and rights in the world, namely; 50 years since the start of UNFPA, and 25 years since the frontier international conference on population and development (ICPD) in Cairo. These two events – have fundamentally reformed the lives of women, families, and the societies in which they live. Over the past 50 years, activists, proponents, governments and organizations such as UNFPA have fought for the population development transformations that we see around us today. According to the Minister of Home Affairs, Mike Noersalim, there cannot be development, when the rights of women and girls are not recognized and guaranteed. “It seems obvious nowadays, but it is not that obvious. Because when we trace the origin of this realization, it takes us back to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development “The Cairo Program of Action,” He said in his opening speech. The minister further indicated that a quarter of a century later we can state that we, as a Surinamese government, have made remarkable progress with the help of civil society in, for example: increasing awareness about gender equality and access to sexual and reproductive health care. He also indicated that Suriname is in the process of carrying out the Population Situation Analysis, which will serve as the basis for formulating the Population Policy. Despite the remarkable progressions, the minister stated that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the desired situation. According to Seth Broekman, Deputy Director, Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean, the UNFPA alone cannot realize a world of gender-equal norms and increase expectations regarding the negative effects of other barriers to rights and choices. Governments, civil society, international institutions and activists and proponents must join forces to make this possible. In his presentation he encouraged the audience to move forward with courage, conviction and dedication, on to Nairobi, on to 2030, on to the world of rights and choices for everyone.