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Executive board minutes

Executive Board proceedings - June 2003

Opening the UNICEF Executive Board’s Annual Session for 2003, Executive Director Carol Bellamy stressed that in the wide range of crises in the world today, civilians, and especially children and women, are most at risk, affected by poverty, conflict, food shortages and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF staff, she said, are “on the front lines of the battle for child rights” in countries like Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan and Peru, all of which she had recently visited. She had seen firsthand the work they do – with their many partners - to safeguard children’s health, ensure their education and protect them from exploitation and abuse. However, ensuring child rights in Africa remained UNICEF’s most formidable mandate, especially in the face of resurgent conflict and the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa.

The Board’s President, Ambassador Jenö Staehelin (Switzerland), reviewed the Board’s agenda for the week, which includes the Executive Director’s annual report to the Board on the work of the organization in 2002, a series of 13 draft country programme documents, which cover UNICEF programmes of cooperation in those countries, and oral reports on child protection, ensuring children’s rights in Africa and UNICEF human resources planning. The President underlined the importance of including programme countries in the Board’s deliberations.

The Executive Director’s annual report was the main subject of discussion during the first day of the session. The report focuses on results achieved in 2002 towards the five priorities of the UNICEF medium-term strategic plan for 2002-2005. Those areas are immunization “plus”, girls’ education, early childhood development, fighting HIV/AIDS and child protection. The Board also began a discussion of the UNICEF recovery policy, which concerns administrative costs for certain types of contributions to the organization.

On Tuesday, 3 June, the Executive Board will begin discussion of country programmes in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tuesday, 3 June

The Executive Board today focused on country programmes of cooperation in Africa, discussing proposals for UNICEF programmes in Benin, Congo, Niger and Sierra Leone, in West and Central Africa, and in Angola, Kenya, Madagascar and Somalia, in Eastern and Southern Africa. The programmes were presented by the UNICEF Regional Directors for those regions, both of whom discussed the larger problems of conflict, instability, HIV/AIDS, drought and food shortages that are affecting Africa as a whole and threatening children’s survival and development. In addition, the Board also approved a programme of cooperation with Ecuador.




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