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UNICEF Executive Board members discuss children’s issues with senior government officials

VIENTIANE, 11 February 2008 - A review of the situation of children and women in Lao PDR was at the centre of discussions today between senior Lao government officials and a visiting delegation from the Executive Board of UNICEF.

The six person delegation is led by H.E. Mr. Anders Lidén, President of the UNICEF Executive Board and Permanent Representative of Sweden at the United Nations. The other members are the Board’s four vice-presidents: H.E. Mr. Hamidon Ali, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the UN; H.E. Mr. Mihnea Motoc, Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN; H.E. Mr. Jorge Skinner-Klee, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN; Mrs. Ami Diallo, Chargé d'Affaires of Mali to the UN. They are accompanied by the Secretary of the Executive Board, Ms Kirsi Madi.

Following a meeting with H.E. Mr. Somsavath Lengsavath, Standing Deputy Prime Minister, and President of the National Commission for Mothers and Children, Mr Lidén said he welcomed the progress achieved in Lao PDR in reducing child mortality and increasing primary school enrolment. Mr Lidén said he and his colleagues had also been briefed on the challenges still facing one of the poorest countries in South East Asia.

“There seems to be a very high level of political commitment to children’s issues in this country,” said Ambassador Lidén. “I am also pleased to see a strong level of collaboration between the government and its UN partners, including UNICEF. And that’s something we expect to see in action during our stay here.”

During their five-day working visit, the UNICEF Executive Board members will visit UNICEF’s education, water and sanitation projects in Oudomxay province, and will also see examples of UNICEF’s health outreach work in rural areas of Luangprabang province. In Vientiane, the delegation will visit a street children project supported by UNICEF.

On Monday, the delegation watched monks deliver a Buddhist life-skills session for students on HIV/AIDS at Phonthanh Lower Secondary School in Vientiane. The session is part of a project designed to reduce the vulnerability of young people to HIV/AIDS and to curb discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

About Executive Board
The Executive Board is UNICEF’s governing body. Its 36 members, operating by consensus, are responsible for overseeing UNICEF’s activities and for approving its policies, country programmes and budgets. The Executive Board’s work is coordinated by the Bureau – the President and four Vice-Presidents – who represent the five regional groups of Member States at the United Nations (Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe and other States).

For further information, please contact: 
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Media. singram@unicef.org Tel: + 856 20 551 9681
Tabongphet Phouthavong, UNICEF Media tphouthavong@unicef.org Tel + 856 20 551 9682


 

 

 

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