THE FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF HONG KONG

Chairmans Address to the 55th Annual General Meeting

Prof. Hextan Ngan

Chairman

7th December 2010

Prof. Lieh-Mak, Prof. Ho, Members and Staff of the Association, Ladies and Gentlemen,

        It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this 55th Annual General Meeting. We are most grateful to Prof. Lieh-Mak, Chairperson of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, for joining us this year. The Medical Council of Hong Kong assures and promotes quality in the medical profession in order to protect patients, foster ethical conduct, and develop and maintain high professional standards. Nowadays, health care providers face challenges of increasing demand for health services, pressure to improve the quality of patient care, and rising costs, especially human resources. We look forward to hearing from Prof. Lieh-Mak in a short while her insights and experiences in addressing these issues.

        This year, as we celebrate our Association’s 60th Anniversary, we also reflect on our future generation. In the past two years, we have been running a Youth Sexuality and Love Campaign 『懂得愛.愛得喜. In August this year, at the 4th Asian Conference on Sexuality Education hosted by our Association, we heard from experts around the world about the developments in young people’s sexuality, health, education and rights. We realize that young people face increasing pressures and conflicting messages about their sexuality. On the one hand, adults warn that young people should not have sex and associate it with guilt, fear and disease. On the other hand, mass media and youth culture portray sex as being exciting, desirable and “cool”. The internet world and popularity of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. easily expose young people to pornography, cybersex, compensated dating and other forms of exploitation. Many young people fall under peer influences without seeking information, proper guidance and support. We see a declining age in young people engaging in sexual activity and an increasingly open attitude towards sexual relationships. Their emotional, social and health needs are not fully recognized and met.

        Yet there are also positive signs as we collectively work to promote comprehensive sexuality education for tomorrow’s generation. Young people should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to grow as individuals and in relationships. Perhaps this was most eloquently expressed by the statement that a group of youth participants put forth at the conclusion of the Asian Conference on Sexuality Education. They called upon policy makers and decision makers from government and different communities to actively address sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people and promote comprehensive sexuality education among young people. They voiced their aspiration to be engaged as partners in development, and to have a real say in matters concerning their bodies and their health. Young people are more open to change, and very often the catalysts for change. Let us enable them to develop their full potential for their own sake and for the sake of their future.

        To end, I would like to convey my thanks to the Hong Kong Government for their steadfast support and also our donors for their generous contributions, especially the Community Chest, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Sir Robert Hotung Charitable Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. I am also grateful to all the volunteers and staff for their dedication and diligence in making the Association a dynamic organization with a bright future. And finally, I would like to thank you all for coming today and for your unfailing support of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong.

        Thank you.