NEW YORK, USA, 11 February 2011 – The UNICEF Executive Board has wrapped up its first regular session of 2011 with an emphasis on improved management, strengthened partnerships and evidence-based results for the world’s most vulnerable children. In the final two days of the four-day meeting at UN headquarters, the Executive Board received pledges of support from member states and adopted decisions on budget, planning and programme activities for the coming year.
|VIDEO: Executive Director Anthony Lake thanks member states for their contributions to UNICEF at a 10 February pledge event and delivers closing remarks at the 11 February final meeting of the 2011 UNICEF Executive Board's first regular session. Watch in RealPlayer|
At the pledge event, which was held yesterday, governments announced their annual voluntary contributions in support of UNICEF’s core work. Executive Director Anthony Lake thanked them for their pledges.
“UNICEF’s income is based entirely on voluntary contributions,” he said. “Our ability to deliver results for children greatly depends on the strength of our partnerships with governments – and we deeply appreciate your unwavering support. We are especially grateful to our donors who have sustained and even expanded support in the midst of the global economic crisis.”
Pledges save lives
As Mr. Lake noted, core resources give UNICEF the flexibility to direct aid toward the most disadvantaged communities in countries with wide disparities in child health and well-being. “The funds you pledge save lives, and change lives,” he told the Executive Board, adding that flexible funding is especially crucial in light of the approaching 2015 deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs.
|© UNICEF video|
|On the dais for the final day of the 2011 UNICEF Executive Board's first regular session are (from left) Executive Director Anthony Lake, Executive Board President (and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the UN) Ambassador Sanja Štiglic, Executive Board Secretary Nicolas Pron, and UNICEF Deputy Executive Directors Saad Houry and Martin Mogwanja.|
Regular resources also help UNICEF fund data collection and analysis to identify the children in greatest need. This data, in turn, will help the organization to implement its increased focus on equity, according to Mr. Lake.
“In other words, your pledge enables us to meet our core commitment to protecting children’s rights and improving children’s lives,” he said.
At today’s closing meeting, the new UNICEF Executive Board President, Her Excellency Sanja Štiglic, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations, oversaw the adoption of six decisions on matters that had been discussed at this week’s session. Specifically, the Executive Board approved:
‘Spirit of partnership’
In her closing remarks to the Executive Board, Ms. Štiglic said decisions made at the session reflected “the urgent need for more efficient and coordinated responses” to global challenges in the run-up to the MDG deadline.
Mr. Lake concluded with comments on the twin themes of management and partnership that ran through many of the Executive Board’s meetings, both formal and informal. While effective management and monitoring are critical, he said, “improvements in management processes are not an end unto themselves. What matters is using those processes for results.” He went on to thank the delegates for the “spirit of partnership” that had marked all of their deliberations.