NEW YORK, USA, 15 September 2011 - The UNICEF Executive Board concluded its September session with a renewed commitment to vulnerable children, despite increasing financial challenges.
|VIDEO: 15 September 2011 - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake addresses closing remarks to the UNICEF Executive Board session. Watch in RealPlayer|
In his closing remarks, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said UNICEF would continue to deliver results for the poorest and most marginalized children, especially in places of extreme emergency, while at the same time rising to the challenge of doing so with decreasing financial resources.
“I want to emphasize again the importance of increasing core resources, which are essential to moving forward, but also our determination, as we have tightened our budgets and cut back on our spending, not to do it at the expense of programmes,” he said.
At the same time, as it is dealing with tighter budgetary constraints, UNICEF remains committed to responding to the increasingly frequent and severe humanitarian crises. It is at the forefront of the response to the catastrophic drought in the Horn of Africa affecting millions of families.
|© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1412/Susan Markisz|
|President of the 2011 UNICEF Executive Board (and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the UN) Ambassador Sanja Štiglic (centre) makes closing remarks at the second regular session of the UNICEF Executive Board. Beside her on the dais are (left-right), UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Officer-in-Charge, Rima Salah; UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; Secretary of the UNICEF Executive Board Nicolas Pron; and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta.|
Reforms paying off
Stressing the importance of evaluating UNICEF’s work, Mr. Lake said UNICEF had used the evaluation of its response in earthquake-affected Haiti to develop a more efficient response in the Horn of Africa.
“We took a hard look at how we performed in Haiti, which led directly to a number of reforms we have made, and how we respond to emergencies, and those reforms are already paying off in the way we are responding to the emergency in the Horn of Africa,” he said.
UNICEF’s Executive Board President, Her Excellency Sanja Štiglic, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations, also highlighted the Horn of Africa emergency.
|VIDEO: 15 September 2011 - UNICEF Executive Board President Sanja Štiglic discusses the importance of supporting UNICEF in challenging times. Watch in RealPlayer|
“The gravest crisis we are collectively facing is surely the disaster in the Horn of Africa,” she said. “We must all make sure that this tragedy that is still unfolding receives the urgent attention it demands.”
Mr. Lake also emphasized the increasing importance of strong partnerships and collective results as UNICEF navigates more challenging territories and situations.
“It’s awfully tempting to claim that every time a child’s life is saved that’s the result of UNICEF’s work but it’s the work of governments, it’s the work of our partner NGOs and it’s all the result of the progress we continue to make on the UN ‘delivering as one,’” he said.
Reaching the most vulnerable
On behalf of the board Ms. Štiglic commended UNICEF’s efforts to become more transparent and to stringently evaluate the results of its programmes both nationally and globally. She urged member states to continue to find ways to improve international cooperation and to increase their financial commitment to UNICEF.
“At this session, we were again reminded that UNICEF’s core resources are essential to its ability to respond to emergencies, maintain its programmes and secure its capacity to develop and implement innovative approaches to reach the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children,” she said.