Letter from Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director

© UNICEF/HQ05-0653/Toutounji
In 2005, world leaders met in New York and recommitted themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In doing so they recommitted themselves to children.

UNICEF has echoed this, rededicating itself to producing greater results for children and producing them more effectively, more systematically and more efficiently. This is made possible, in part, by UN reform – and UNICEF is a key player in this – which is harmonizing efforts across the agencies and enabling a sum of work that is greater than its parts.

Our work is also enhanced by increasingly efficient management of ever-growing funds: In 2005 the organization managed almost 40 per cent more income and expenditures compared to 2004, while containing the increase in management and support costs to only 7 per cent.

Over the year, UNICEF carried out programmes for children and their families in 157 countries, areas and territories. These efforts took place in cooperation with like-minded partners who have coalesced around the Millennium Development Goals and the underlying Millennium Declaration.

New partnerships were formed, and others were reinvigorated, all around the common objectives of saving children’s lives, assisting mothers and families, getting children into school and helping them stay there, combating such diseases as HIV/AIDS and malaria, and reducing hunger and poverty.

These efforts are paying off, yielding meaningful results that show promise in bringing countries closer to the Goals, and children and families closer to healthier, more secure lives. But momentum must be built and maintained, and it is this urgency that drives us.

We must use 2005 as a reason for optimism, and a daily reminder that so many children still need our help and our commitment to the issues that affect them.

Ann M. Veneman
Executive Director, UNICEF