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New UNICEF Representative for Guyana Takes Office

UNICEF, GUYANA – 06 October, 2009 – UNICEF Representative for Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Suleiman Braimoh, today officially presented letters of credence to Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signaling UNICEF’s continued commitment to improving the lives of women and children in Guyana, this time with him at the helm.

In accepting Mr. Braimoh’s credentials, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett hailed the programme of agreement between UNICEF and the Government of Guyana, as being very effective in advancing the interests of women and children in Guyana.  The Minister reaffirmed the need for greater collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNICEF through regular meetings and discourses.  She also underscored the importance of continuous reporting on programmatic issues, which she said should be based on systematic evidence-based data, especially when it relates to sensitive issues within hinterland regions.

Continuing the Foreign Affairs Minister said that she had “strong concern” about water issues in the hinterland regions and the many emerging issues that now confront us in light of climate change.  In this regard Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said that the Government of Guyana will welcome any assistance from UNICEF in mitigating the impact of climate change on the lives of women and children.

Responding, Mr. Braimoh echoed Ministers sentiments, stressing the need to strengthen relations between the two entities.  He said that UNICEF’s commitment needs to be viewed within the context of supporting Government’s programmes aimed at improving the situation of children and, “Yes, we need to focus on results and goals, how we get there is also important and UNICEF remains committed to both”, Braimoh said.

The new UNICEF Representative said he was very happy to be in Guyana noted the results of many combined efforts aimed at improving the lives of children and women the country.  “It is evident that the country has made great strides and now has a very solid foundation to build upon for child survival and development, education, and the overall protection of children.”  Mr. Braimoh commented.
A Nigerian national, Mr. Braimoh brings to Guyana over 21 years of experience in programme and policy planning and management.  Before this appointment, he was serving as Regional Chief of Programmes and Planning with the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal since July 2005. In this capacity, he was responsible for the oversight and quality assurance of UNICEF supported Country Programmes in all the eight countries in South Asia.

Mr. Braimoh received his Ph.D degree in Sociology in 1985 and joined UNICEF in March 1998 as the Chief of Programme Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation of the Nigeria Country Programme, where he managed and supervised the implementation of the planning, monitoring and evaluation functions of the UNICEF country programme.  He later took up an appointment in the UNICEF Headquarters in New York where he set up the Strategic Human Resources Planning unit and was responsible for the coordination and preparation of medium-term strategic human resources plans, strategic and annual reports, workplans, and the development and implementation of monitoring plans.

During the years 1996 and 1998, Mr. Braimoh worked as Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office and State Programme Monitoring Advisor in Edo State, Nigeria. Among his many duties, he supervised the integrated planning, monitoring, and evaluation of UNDP-assisted programmes and provided technical assistance and support to Directors for the implementation for six programmes in the areas of small and medium scale enterprises development, women in development, mass literacy, development of a national statistical information system, environment and natural resources management, and management of aid and development
Mr. Braimoh assumed responsibilities for the three UNICEF offices (Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) yesterday, operating out of the Guyana office in Brickdam Georgetown.  According to the UNICEF official, priorities will continue to include the development of policy and legislative framework in conformity with the convention on the rights of the child through support to programmes that cover issues of education, health, water and sanitation and the protection of children.

For more information:
Leslyn Thompson, lthompson@unicef.org, UNICEF Guyana
Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.



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