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Statement by Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia at the Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Executive Board of UNICEF for2016, 8 January

08.01.2016

Good morning, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, it is an honour and a great pleasure to serve as President of the Executive Board of UNICEF, an organisation with a mandate close to my heart. I thank the outgoing President Ambassador Lodhi and the Bureau - Ambassador Kasese-Bota (Zambia), Ambassador Flores Herrera (Panama), Ambassador Thoms (DPR, Germany) and Ms Lõuk (Estonia)-  for the outstanding achievements and assure the members that we will build on those results.

I look forward to working with all of you, Members of the Executive Board, especially my fellow Bureau Members, whom I congratulate on their election.  I hope we can continue the good spirit of co-operation and unity for children that characterized the excellent work of the previous Executive Board and Bureau.

It is a particular honour to be able to work alongside the Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake, whose track record speaks for itself - the champion of the focus on equity.

We in the Executive Board, also look forward to working with the Deputy Executive Directors, Ms. Geeta Rao Gupta, Ms. Yoka Brandt, Ms. Fatoumata N’diaye and Mr. Omar Abdi, as well as the entire Secretariat of UNICEF. This includes the Secretary of the Executive Board, Mr Nicolas PRON and all those in the Executive Board Office and UN Conference Services working behind the scenes to make our sessions and meetings a success.

The year 2016 is an important milestone for UNICEF and the entire United Nations system. It is the initial year of implementation of the new SDGs which with the persistent work of the previous Bureau, the Secretariat and the Group of Friends of Children and SDGs have given children heightened attention and a central place. Unfortunately we are facing worsening crises around the world and growing humanitarian needs. Children are especially vulnerable in these crises. UNICEF has a critical role to play to respond to the needs of increasing numbers of children living in dire situations. We will discuss this further during the Executive Board´s First regular session.

Dear Colleagues,

We have a busy year ahead of us. But in our rush to get to meetings and scrutinize reports, let us not forget what is most important: the rights and wellbeing of children.  As we are preparing for the many important discussions and meeting this year, World Humanitarian Summit, the ECOSOC dialogues, the High Level Political Forum, the QCPR 2017-2021 negotiation, to name a few, let us work together to strive to create a world in which every child has a fair chance in life.

I’m looking forward to doing all the work that lies before us.

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