By Rebecca Zerzan
NEW YORK, USA, 10 February 2012 – The UNICEF Executive Board closed its first regular session of 2012 today with an emphasis on strengthening partnerships and pursuing innovations to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
|VIDEO: At the conclusion of the UNICEF Executive Board's first regular session for 2012, Executive Director Anthony Lake says collaboration is the key to progress. Watch in RealPlayer|
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and the President of the 2012 Executive Board, H.E. John W. Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, applauded the Board’s productivity over the four-day session.
The Executive Board adopted decisions on the annual report to the Economic and Social Council, on a roadmap towards UNICEF’s next medium-term strategic plan (MTSP) for 2014–2017, on harnessing knowledge and improving research for the benefit of children, as well as on private fundraising and partnerships, and it approved the country programme document for South Sudan.
Collaboration the key to progress
In his closing remarks, Mr. Lake spoke of confronting future challenges through increased collaborative efforts and innovations.
“We’ve had very frank discussions not only about the progress we are making but about the problems we are facing over the coming year and that we have encountered over the last year,” he said.
The organization is exploring and launching a variety of programmes to address these challenges. In particular, UNICEF’s new monitoring system – the Monitoring Results for Equity System (MoRES) – will enable the organization to anticipate future problems, identify them as they emerge, and address them as quickly as possible.
The system is designed to support UNICEF’s equity agenda, which lies at the heart of the organization’s work, by enabling UNICEF to draw attention and resources to the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and hardest-to-reach children.
“As MoRES comes online over the coming years, that will help us identify all the more the problems and bottlenecks that we are addressing in the substance in our work,” he said. “Since it will be a transparent system, it will enrich our future discussions on our work.”
|VIDEO: UNICEF's new Executive Board President, His Excellency John Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, to the United Nations underlines the Board's aim for the coming year - finding new ways to reach the most vulnerable. Watch in RealPlayer|
MoRES will also enable UNICEF to work in closer collaboration with partners, governments and other United Nations agencies, maximizing both resources and results for children.
“I want to emphasize that we will be working with governments and UN agencies and others to make this, as much as possible, a collective approach.... We can think these issues through best together. It is in the sense of collaboration and transparency that we will make great progress in the coming year,” he said.
“I think we owe this to each other, we owe it to UNICEF and to our staff around the world, especially those who are working in exceptionally dangerous and difficult circumstances. And, mostly, we owe it to our common mission – which is the children, of course, and their rights,” Mr. Lake concluded.
Innovating for equity
Mr. Ashe underscored the importance of innovation as UNICEF moves into a landscape of financial uncertainty.
“The issue of finance is central…. We must be efficient and we must be effective, but we cannot lose our ability to do more,” Mr. Ashe said in his closing statement.
“I was particularly struck by the Executive Director’s call for innovation without losing a focus on equity,” he said. “Looking forward to the year ahead, we will constantly return to that objective.”
He commended the planned implementation of MoRES and urged continued support for UNICEF’s programmes and its equity agenda.
“Collectively, we can make a contribution going forward,” he said.
UNICEF Executive Board 2012