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Statement at UNICEF Executive Board Second Regular Session 2012

11.09.2012

Mr. President, Mr. Executive Director, distinguished delegates,

I would like to thank the Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake for his inspiring statement, as always, and the comprehensive overview of the recent achievements and challenges in UNICEF. I take this opportunity to pledge Estonia’s support to the activities of UNICEF in protection and survival of children in the world.

At the outset, I would like to say that Estonia welcomes the commitment by UNICEF to efficiency and effectiveness. For the first time we are implementing the "Paper-Smart" approach in a UN agency in New York, after some other UN branches have successfully implemented it in Rio and Geneva during the past year. Only yesterday we urged the UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Executive Board to follow this good example. Estonia is ready to stay engaged on this.

I would also like to thank UNICEF for organizing the thematic debate on humanitarian assistance. I take the opportunity to welcome the new UNCIEF Director of Emergency Programmes Mr. Ted Chaiban. As 25% of UNICEF resources are allocated to humanitarian and life-saving programmes, it is important that we have regular annual discussions on that in UNICEF. The lessons learnt from recent onset emergencies have given the entire humanitarian community a fresh impetus to review their deployment and coordination policies. We underline OCHA’s leadership role in the coordination of humanitarian assistance, and also recognise the critical role of other UN funds and programmes in the delivery, such as UNFPA, UNHCR and WFP. Our special thanks go to all humanitarian staff and other partners for their tireless efforts, often carried out in very difficult and dangerous environments. We also welcome the EU Commissioner Madam Georgieva to the UNICEF Board. The importance of partnerships in humanitarian emergencies cannot be underestimated. Allow me to reiterate that in situations of complex emergencies humanitarian access remains a key concern. Estonia urges all parties in situations of complex emergencies, both state and non state-actors, to comply with the international humanitarian law.

Lastly, my delegation has followed with interest the QCPR briefings and reports and awaits for the upcoming negotiation in the General Assembly. I thank the Executive Director for the update and views on the UNICEF expectations on the QCPR process. The Delivering as One independent evaluation group report has given us feedback on the progress and shortcomings of the UN coherence reform. Estonia believes that Delivering as One should become a norm, rather than exception, in the UN operational activities, and we urge the membership in the same vane.

To conclude, Estonia is a small, but established donor who has supported UNICEF activities for 15 years since 1998 with annual core funding and emergency humanitarian funding and we are committed to continue to do so also in future.


I thank you, Mr. President.

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