The Slovak government has reversed an earlier decision to offer to host the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The government has now instructed Slovakia’s foreign minister, Miroslav Lajčák, to send a letter to the executive head of the UNFPA, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, confirming that Slovakia has withdrawn its bid to host the office, citing the high costs necessary for its foundation and operation as the reason. The costs were said to amount to €215,650 (Sk6.5 million).
The Slovak cabinet had approved a proposal to sign an agreement between Slovakia and the UNFPA as early as January 2009, while the department proving services to the diplomatic corps was supposed to arrange the necessary conditions for the operation of the office. Kazakhstan had earlier withdrawn its candidacy in favour of Slovakia; the sub-regional office for Central Asia will be based in the Kazakh city of Almaty, the Sme daily wrote on its website.
According to the agreement, Slovakia was supposed to have offered offices amounting to 650 square metres free of charge, and to furnish them and pay for running costs. The UNFPA’s activities are focused on three main spheres: population and development, reproductive rights and health, and gender equality. Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
24. Jun 2009 at 14:00