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UNICEF Executive Board

Executive Board to adopt UNICEF strategic plan and integrated budget for 2014–2017

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0531/Markisz
UNICEF Comptroller Omar Abdi presents the 2014-2017 integrated budget to the UNICEF Executive Board during the second regular session of 2013.

By Marissa Aroy

On 4 September, the UNICEF Executive Board continued its second regular session of 2013 with its main agenda item for the session, adoption of the strategic plan, 2014–2017, and integrated budget for 2014–2017.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 5 September 2013 – On 3 September, Director of the Division of Policy and Strategy Jeffrey O'Malley begins his presentation on the UNICEF strategic plan for 2014–2017 before the Executive Board with a photo. Two large projection screens in the United Nations headquarters meeting room light up with a picture of a young girl. 

“This is Saima,” says Mr. O'Malley. “Like 8 million other children in Bangladesh, Saima was sent out to work picking through rubbish to find rags to sell in order to support her family.” 

“We have a commitment to help all such children and make sure that the most disadvantaged and deprived populations get into school and to support them to complete a quality basic education,” he stresses.

Realizing the rights of every child

On 4 September, the UNICEF Executive Board continued its second regular session with final discussions on the strategic plan and corresponding integrated budget for 2014–2017. Under the title Realizing the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged, the strategic plan is a blueprint for UNICEF’s work for the next four years.  Emphasizing equity and focusing on the most disadvantaged and excluded children, families and communities, the UNICEF strategic plan aims to reduce disparities in accelerating progress in realizing the rights of all children. 

UNICEF will continue its engagement in the key areas of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, HIV and AIDS, and child protection. UNICEF will create a specific outcome for nutrition, to reflect the global priority given to reducing undernutrition, and give more attention to social inclusion, including generation of data and advocacy for policies that promote human rights and advance social protection.

© UNICEF Video
UNICEF Director of the Division of Policy and Strategy Jeffrey O'Malley recalled the needs of children like Saima when he presented the strategic plan for 2014-2017 to the UNICEF Executive Board.

As called for by the United Nations General Assembly resolution of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR), the strategic plan will be implemented through activities that promote accountability, participation, transparency and coherence. These activities will be backed by an efficient and effective results-based management that is intensively focused on achieving concrete results in realizing the rights of children.

Among the outcome indicators detailed in the strategic plan are:

● Health: reducing the number of neonatal deaths by having 80 per cent of births be attended by a skilled health worker;
● HIV/AIDS: countries in which at least 50 per cent of the overall HIV and AIDS budget is funded through domestic resources;
● Water, sanitation and hygiene: programme countries in which the budget for basic sanitation is at least 0.5 per cent of GDP;
● Nutrition: programme countries with at least a 50 per cent exclusive breastfeeding rate among children 0–5 months old;
● Education: programme countries with a pre-primary education gross enrolment ratio above 80 per cent;
● Child protection: countries with 30 per cent reduction in the proportion of girls aged 0–14 years undergoing female genital mutilation/cutting;
● Social inclusion: countries with an independent national institution to monitor, promote and protect child rights.

Linking expenditures closely with results

For the first time, the integrated budget is closely linked to the strategic plan, presenting budgetary information for the same four-year period, in a format that demonstrates the linkage between results and resource requirements, with a revised cost recovery methodology and improved approach to cost attribution. 

The total projected resources for 2014–2017, comprising the categories of regular resources (non-earmarked funds), other resources (earmarked funds) and trust funds, which include opening balances of US$3,083.7 million, amount to US$26,700.7 million. This reflects an increase of US$6,936.5 million, or 35.1 per cent, compared with the total planned resources for 2010–2013.

UNICEF Comptroller Omar Abdi, who presented the budget to the Executive Board, noted that total revenue would increase to US$4,232 million by 2017, up from US$3,833 million in 2013. Total projected expenditures will rise to US$4,641 million by 2017, up from US$3,859 million in 2013. Overall, the resources available for programmes will rise by US$3.2 billion – from US$11.6 billion in 2013 to US$14.8 billion in 2017 – an increase of 27.5 per cent.

Other strategic shifts in the integrated budget include: an increased investment in development effectiveness activities to strengthen organizational capacity to deliver higher-quality programmes; additional contribution to leadership and coordination of the United Nations development system; continued drive for cost effectiveness within management activities and a maintenance of capital investment levels via technologies supporting collaboration; content management and knowledge sharing; and maintenance of  security for staff and premises in field locations.

Deputy Executive Director Martin Mogwanja and Mr. Abdi noted that the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) has also reviewed the integrated budget and recommended its approval.

Once the Executive Board approves the UNICEF strategic plan, 2014–2017, and the integrated budget for 2014–2017, work can begin on implementing the plan, translating it to the many diverse settings in which UNICEF works and putting it into action.

As President of the Executive Board, H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, noted in his opening remarks on 3 September, “Although we have come a long way with the process, the approval phase is just a starting point for the implementation efforts, which will follow in 2014 and the subsequent years.”



UNICEF Photography: UNICEF's Executive Board

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