NEW YORK, USA, 19 January 2012 – Marking the beginning of the new year with new leadership, UNICEF’s Executive Board elected His Excellency Mr. John W. Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, as its President for 2012. Mr. Ashe was nominated from among the Latin American and Caribbean states that are members of the Executive Board.
|VIDEO: UNICEF reports on the election of a new UNICEF Executive Board President, and on the governing body's discussion of recent progress and future challenges. Watch in RealPlayer|
Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, UNICEF’s governing body also reviewed the developments of the past year and reaffirmed their commitment to serving the most vulnerable children.
Focus on equity
“Distinguished delegates, we can collectively take pride in the fact that we covered a lot of ground in the last year. On behalf of the Executive Board, I extend my appreciation to all of you, for the high quality of discussions and the excellent results achieved,” said Her Excellency Sanja Štiglic, the outgoing UNICEF Executive Board President and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations.
“The reports and presentations presented to us during 2011 clearly indicated UNICEF is striving to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations and processes and the drive for results,” she said.
|© UNICEF video|
|UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake thanks Her Excellency Sanja Štiglic, the outgoing UNICEF Executive Board President and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations.|
Ms. Štiglic also highlighted the progress made in the equity approach – a strategy aimed at assisting the most excluded children in the hardest-to-reach places.
“One of the most important objectives of all our deliberations last year was accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” she said. “In his reports to this board, including his updates on achieving the goals with equity, the Executive Director described how the organization is following up on the findings of the groundbreaking UNICEF study showing that the approach of focusing on the poorest and most excluded children will give us significant return on investment in terms of children’s health and well-being,” she said.
Ensuring UNICEF delivers
The Executive Board provides intergovernmental support and oversight to UNICEF, reviews activities and approves its policies, country programmes and budgets. It comprises 36 members representing the five regional groups of Member States at the United Nations. Its work is coordinated by the Bureau, comprising the President and four Vice-Presidents, each officer representing one of the five regional groups.
|© UNICEF video|
|Newly elected UNICEF Executive Board President, His Excellency Mr. John W. Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, at the UN Headquarters in New York.|
“Being the President of the Executive Board of UNICEF brings with it certain responsibilities, and with your collective help, given that this year – like previous years of course – is one that is filled with many challenges, we hope that we can advance the mandate of this organization… to ensure that we do deliver and no children are left behind,” said Mr. Ashe.
Looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of 2012, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake expressed his confidence in the solid foundation that has been laid for the organization.
“UNICEF’s mission is to support all the people who are working so effectively, especially women and children, to change their own lives… That is what we are doing as we go through these board meetings,” said Mr. Lake. “Thank you all in retrospect for all you have done, and our new leadership for all you will be doing in the coming year in helping us accomplish that common mission.”