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UNICEF Executive Board

UNICEF Executive Board begins new year celebrating partnership with the World Bank

NEW YORK, United States of America, 5 February 2013—The UNICEF Executive Board opened its first regular session of 2013 with a renewed focus on equity and achieving results for the most disadvantaged children.

The current year is a significant time for UNICEF, as the Executive Board will discuss and eventually adopt its next medium-term strategic plan (MTSP) for the coming four years. The plan will map out the direction UNICEF will take in advancing child rights beyond the targets for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

With programmes in more than 100 countries, the World Bank-UNICEF partnership focuses on achieving equity for the most vulnerable - together.  Watch in RealPlayer


Improving resilience, strengthening partnerships

In his introductory remarks, the Executive Board President, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen, said the new MTSP should show the results of UNICEF’s humanitarian activities and, in particular, efforts to improve resilience in communities.

“We have heard promising updates from UNICEF about a stronger emphasis on tackling inequality, targeting activities to benefit the most vulnerable, and better integration of human rights, gender and environment on all issues,” H.E. Mr. Viinanen said.

Watch H.E. Mr. Viinanen discuss his new role as President of the UNICEF Executive Board. [video]

Collaboration with the World Bank

The Executive Board was addressed for the first time by President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim at a special focus session on the collaboration between the World Bank and UNICEF.

Dr. Kim spoke on the importance of working together to achieve equity for children and to eradicate extreme poverty.

“We know that the fight against global poverty is far from over and that the future of millions of children still hangs in the balance. That’s why at the World Bank I have made sure our mission is clear: to end extreme poverty and build shared prosperity,” he said.

In his opening remarks to the UNICEF Executive Board, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake says that he is approaching 2013 with added urgency.  Watch in RealPlayer


The Executive Board heard that the partnership between the two organizations has been expanding steadily over the past five years. UNICEF works with the World Bank in 103 countries, supporting programmes that give communities better education, nutrition, health and access to safe water. Through this partnership, the two organizations have developed a tool to identify bottlenecks – helping communities to pinpoint and address problem areas quickly.

The UNICEF–World Bank partnership has provided significant resources, including US$944 million for UNICEF-provided procurement services. Executive Board members heard about other successful initiatives such as the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and Sanitation and Water for All.

The Executive Board heard about four key areas of collaboration between UNICEF and the World Bank – in Ethiopia (building resilience against drought), Haiti (improving maternal and child health), Indonesia (tackling stunting) and Uganda (ensuring government services reach the most vulnerable, through SMS and social media).

In thanking Dr. Kim for attending, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said the two organizations shared a common purpose: “All towards the goal of accelerating development, reducing poverty and achieving equity and results for the most disadvantaged.”

Stressing that “innovations are crucial in reaching the most disadvantanged,” whether in health, education, child protection, HIV/AIDS or South–South and triangular cooperation, Mr. Lake noted that the World Bank and UNICEF had an important role to play in advancing these efforts within these expanding areas of the development landscape.

World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim addresses the UNICEF Executive Board for the first time. A special focus session on UNICEF–World Bank collaboration discussed the partnership.  Watch in RealPlayer


Celebrating successes, focusing on results

In his opening remarks to the Executive Board, Mr. Lake said that he was approaching 2013 with added urgency.

He emphasized the success and momentum of initiatives such as A Promise Renewed, which was launched in June 2012 and already has 171 governments and more than 400 civil society and faith-based organizations committed to ending preventable child deaths.

But with the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, the need for a strategic framework was pressing, he said. The MTSP for 2014–2017 is part of that process, along with the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of United Nations operational activities for development (QCPR), recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. “We very much welcome the QCPR resolution, and particularly its emphasis on delivering and demonstrating results,” said Mr. Lake.

This is the second PaperSmart session of the UNICEF Executive Board, following last year’s ground-breaking session, which contributed to significant cost savings and environmental sustainability. It has since provided a model to other United Nations organizations in holding their own Board sessions.



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