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Malaysian elected vice president of UN children’s agency

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 February 2008 – Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Datuk Hamidon Ali was recently elected by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Board as one of the agency’s four Vice Presidents. 

Overseeing the elections was new Board President, Sweden’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Anders Lidén during the Board's first regular session for 2008, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

According to UNICEF Malaysia’s Representative, Mr. Youssouf Mohammed Oomar, the Executive Board plays a critical role in ensuring that the activities and operational strategies of the agency are consistent with the overall policy guidance set forth by the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, including achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

“Children are at the heart of all the Millennium Development Goals. The Executive Board under the leadership of Anders Lidén and supported by his Vice Presidents will help maximise UNICEF’s contribution to these globally agreed goals, aimed at eliminating the worst effects of global poverty and discrimination by 2015,” said Mr. Youssouf Oomar.

Joining Datuk Hamidon as Vice President for 2008 are Ami Diallo, First Counsellor for the Permanent Mission of Mali to the UN; Jorge Skinner-Klée, Permanent Representative to the UN of Guatemala; and Mihnea Motoc, Permanent Representative to the UN of Romania.

Central to discussions during the second day of the Board’s meeting were issues relating to child protection, including a review of UNICEF’s proposed final draft of a comprehensive child-protection strategy.

Created in consultation with member states, the proposed strategy integrates recommendations from the landmark UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children launched in 2006, placing prevention of abuse as the strategy’s main goal. Additionally, the draft strategy addresses:

  • UNICEF’s vital engagement in the rehabilitation of children affected by violence, exploitation and neglect;
  • the importance of partnerships and the inclusion of children themselves in the development of protection programs; and,
  • the incorporation of child-protection strategies into national agendas, and support for increased efforts to change societal perceptions about the rights of children.

“This proposed strategy is a reflection of our commitment to strengthen efforts to protect child rights and ensure that the Convention on the Rights of the Child benefits all children”, added Mr. Oomar.


About the UNICEF Executive Board
The Executive Board is UNICEF’s governing body responsible for providing inter-governmental support to and supervision of the activities of UNICEF, in accordance with the overall policy guidance of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Its 36 members, operating by consensus, are responsible for overseeing UNICEF’s activities and for approving its policies, country programs and budgets. The Executive Board’s work is coordinated by the Bureau – the President and four Vice-Presidents – who represent the five regional groups of Member States at the United Nations (Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe and other States).

The Board meets three times each year, in a first regular (January), annual (June) and second regular session (September).



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