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NEW YORK, 19 January 2005 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy received a standing ovation when she made her final address to the organization’s Executive Board yesterday.
Delegates took turns praising her for her vision and leadership during the years of her tenure, calling her “a voice for children who also advocated that we listen to children’s voices.” Ms. Bellamy has been Executive Director of UNICEF since 1995.
In her statement to the Board, Ms. Bellamy said: “I regard myself as the luckiest of Executive Directors, although it didn’t seem so ten years ago at the outset. My predecessor, Jim Grant, was a giant among the world’s advocates for children. Thus I was given an impossible act to follow. I had an enormous amount to learn and absorb about UNICEF but the fact was, the problems of the world’s children couldn’t wait for me to take the time to learn.”
Ms. Bellamy referred to the formidable obstacles and challenges that UNICEF has had to meet, including escalating armed conflict around the world and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“But in all this, you, our Executive Board, have been one of UNICEF’s most important partners and my most gratifying piece of good fortune,” she told delegates. “And that is because without your unstinting leadership and support, the prospects of the world’s children would be bleak indeed.”