Lotta Sylwander joins as UNICEF Philippines Representative
MANILA, 21 April 2014 – Ms. Lotta Sylwander has submitted credentials as UNICEF Representative to the Philippines to Mr. Albert del Rosario, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs.
As UNICEF Representative, Ms. Sylwander provides strategic leadership in the design and implementation of programmes on health, on education, on protection and for the wellbeing of Filipino children, as part of the Government of the Philippines-UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation.
In welcoming Ms. Sylwander, Secretary Rosario recalled the longstanding partnership between the Government of the Philippines and UNICEF and said: "Children in the Philippines are our future and we are very happy that you are here, Ms. Sylwander, to assist us in ensuring a brighter future for children and for our country."
Looking forward to her time in the Philippines, Ms. Sylwander said: "The Philippines is such an interesting country with so much capacity and energy, I am looking forward to working with the Government to improve the lives of children who make up for half of the country's population."
Ms. Sylwander brings with her over three decades of substantive experience in the social development sector, garnered from leadership positions she held in many regions across the world where she championed the cause of children and women.
Before coming to the Philippines, Ms. Sylwander served as the UNICEF Representative to Viet Nam from 2010–2014, where she was instrumental in changing and transforming UNICEF programming for continued relevance in a rapidly evolving and developing middle-income country. Her efforts led to a stronger focus on child protection, on social protection, and on ethnic minority issues and to decentralized planning and programming. Ms. Sylwander and her team worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and justice agencies to promote the establishment of a child friendly justice system, including for children in conflict with the law and child victims and witnesses of crime.
In Viet Nam, she engaged in policy dialogue and developed and maintained effective relationships with key national and international partners to advance the child rights agenda. Ms. Sylwander had also actively advanced the key priorities of the UNICEF Viet Nam Resource Mobilisation Strategy, establishing and maintaining donor relations and pursuing fund-raising opportunities to support UNICEF programmes in Viet Nam.
She played a major role in conceptualization and development of the One Plan III (UNDAF).
From 2006 to 2010, Ms. Sylwander served as the Representative of UNICEF to Zambia.
From 2001 to 2006, and before joining UNICEF, Ms. Sylwander served as Deputy Director General and Director of the Africa Department at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida.
A citizen of Sweden, Ms. Sylwander holds an equivalent to a Master's degree in Social Anthropology and was a lecturer in the University of Stockholm. Ms. Sylwander began her career in the non-government sector in Sweden and had spent time in the Philippines in the 1970 and 80s.
UNICEF began its operations in the Philippines in 1948, working with the people and the Government as a longstanding, trusted partner in advancing the rights of children through regular programmes and in support of countless emergencies caused by natural calamities. The current Country Programme of Cooperation (2012-2016) is the seventh five-year agreement UNICEF has signed with the Government of the Philippines, which serves as the basis of UNICEF programme implementation in the country.