|UNICEF’s Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman at the opening of the UNICEF Executive Board’s Annual Session of 2005.|
By Rachel Bonham Carter
NEW YORK, 6 June 2005 – Five weeks into her tenure as UNICEF’s Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman addressed the UNICEF Executive Board for the first time, outlining the challenges ahead and stating her intention that UNICEF continue to strengthen its partnerships with other organizations.
“As I continually remind people, there are just 10 years left in which to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” Ms. Veneman said in her remarks to the Annual Session of the Board. “They reflect the collective will of the international community. They are ambitious, but they can be attained.
“It is vital that UNICEF view others, whether UN agencies or other development organizations, not as competitors but as collaborators. We must consider how our programmes and partners work together in a broader context, rather than as ‘stovepipes’ or ‘areas of interest’.”
Ms. Veneman thanked the delegates for their warm welcome and said she looked forward to interesting discussions over the coming days during the Annual Session.
She noted that in September heads of state will gather at the UN, “to conduct an important stock-taking exercise at the Millennium Summit, to see where achievements have been made, and where progress is lacking. The health, well-being and protection of children must be central to those discussions.”
Ms. Veneman observed that the agenda for this week includes many very substantive programmatic items. Among them are the following:
Annual Report of the Executive Director for 2005
Also on day one of the Annual Session of UNICEF’s Executive Board, Deputy Executive Directors Rima Salah and Kul Gautam delivered a summary of achievements from the past year and a look ahead at UNICEF’s proposed ‘business plan’ for 2006-2009.
Ms. Salah introduced the Annual Report of the Executive Director for 2005. This report outlines UNICEF’s progress in many areas last year, notably in child survival, vaccination of children against polio, girl’s education and child protection.
After the meeting, Ms. Salah commented on the delegates’ reaction: “All of this, and our response to emergencies particularly in the tsunami countries and in Sudan, was appreciated.”
Mr. Gautam presented the draft Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2006-2009, which is entitled ‘Investing in children: The UNICEF contribution to poverty reduction and the Millennium Agenda’.
Mr. Gautam described the purpose of the strategic plan: “We hope to position UNICEF to make a substantive contribution to children’s survival, protection and development through investments and interventions with a high probability of bringing ‘breakthrough’ results for children from the poorest families.
“In this, we strongly echo the call of the UN Secretary-General to pursue quick wins and lasting gains in poverty reduction and fulfilment of children’s rights.”
The strategic plan will be finished in time for the Second Regular Session of the Executive Board in September.
6 June 2005:
Ann M. Veneman addresses UNICEF Executive Board.
6 June 2005:
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah outlines the highlights of the Annual Report of the Executive Director.
6 June 2005:
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam describes the Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2006-2009.
La cobertura del periodo anual de sesiones de la junta Ejecutiva sólo está disponible en inglés.
Ann M. Veneman's remarks to UNICEF's Executive Board (also available in PDF format)