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UNICEF Executive Board

Murder of polio workers remembered as UNICEF Executive Board wraps up first session of 2013

Today, the UNICEF Executive Board closed its first regular session of 2013, adopting six draft decisions. UNICEF staff in three countries were recognized for outstanding performance. The murder of polio workers was remembered by the Executive Director.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 8 February 2013 – The UNICEF Executive Board adopted six draft decisions on the final day of its first regular session of 2013. They cover budgetary and fundraising priorities, two country programmes (Egypt and Eritrea) and the annual report of the Executive Director to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Contribution of staff is recognized and murder of polio workers remembered as UNICEF Executive Board closes first regular session of 2013.  Watch in RealPlayer


Defining moment for UNICEF

“Our discussions this week were held at the defining moment for UNICEF, while the organization prepares for the next medium-term strategic plan and integrated budget guided by the [quadrennial comprehensive policy review] (QCPR) and discussions of the post-2015 agenda,” said Executive Board President Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen.

The draft decision on the annual report of the Executive Director to ECOSOC encouraged UNICEF to continue reporting according to the guidance of the QCPR.

The country programme document for Eritrea outlined a budget of more than US$50 million for 2013–2016.

The draft resolution on private fundraising budgeted expenditure of more than US$132 million.

The draft decision on UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board issued a number of ways in which UNICEF can harmonize its AIDS programming goals with the UNAIDS agenda.

The draft resolution on the roadmap towards an integrated budget made a number of recommendations on cost recovery.

Session highlight

The highlight of the week’s session was Tuesday’s address by the President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who spoke on the World Bank’s partnerships with UNICEF and its concepts of equity and shared prosperity. Dr. Kim took questions from delegates and spoke about ways to advance humanitarian agendas even when international agreements on trade and climate struggle to gain traction. One suggestion he offered was removing fuel subsidies to help the most disadvantaged.

“Instead of investing in fuel subsidies, which are often regressive – they help the rich more than they help the poor – you can have targeted programmes that protect the poor while also having not only a positive impact on the poor, but having a positive impact on the environment,” he said.

Dr. Kim outlined new areas of thinking about systems building, where systems can be created that solve problems by the rules by which they are built. He said there are too many topical experts in the development world and not enough systems engineers.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0107/Markisz
On 8 February, UNICEF Executive Board President and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen makes closing remarks at the first regular session of the 2013 UNICEF Executive Board at UNHQ. Beside him are (left) UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and (right) UNICEF Secretary of the Executive Board Nicolas Pron.

“I hope that, in a few years, it’ll become clear to everyone just what we mean by system building and that we can help people on everything from building a healthcare system to,  for example, building government systems that systematically root out corruption,” he said.

In his closing remarks today, H.E. Mr. Viinanen said there were potentially many more opportunities for cooperation between UNICEF and the World Bank. 

“I hope we can bring this kind of openness and collaboration to other parts of the UN, as well,” he said. 

Closing session recognizes staff and remembers fallen polio workers

At the closing session, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake awarded Staff Team Awards to teams in three countries.

Afghanistan was selected for its results for children in emergencies.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the UNICEF team was recognized for its work in the wake of the 2005 tsunami. And in the area of operations, staff in South Africa were selected for their medical evacuation efforts.

After having been in abeyance for some years, the Staff Team Awards were re-established to recognize and highlight outstanding performance of UNICEF staff.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Lake condemned the murder of several polio workers in two separate attacks in Kano, Nigeria. “Attacks on polio workers are utterly vile. We send our condolences to the families of those who were killed.”



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