Remarks by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga at UNICEF Executive Board 1st Regular Session 2013
At the outset, allow me to
congratulate our Nordic neighbor Finland and especially Ambassador
Viinanen on being elected as the President of the Bureau and for his
encouraging opening statement. I would also like to
welcome the new members of the Bureau and Executive Board.
Mr. President, Mr. Executive
Director, distinguished delegates,
I would like to thank the Executive
Director Mr. Anthony Lake for the comprehensive and detailed overview of UNICEF'
activities in 2011-2012 and welcome the effective use of available resources to
implement the operational activities and the progress made towards achieving the
Millennium Development Goals by 2015. We are also thankful for the comments by
Dr Jim Yong Kim about the effective cooperation between UNICEF and World Bank, during morning session. We strongly support such partnerships.
Estonia – one of the pioneers in implementing
paperless electronic government sessions, for more than 10 years by now, is
welcoming the continued commitment of UNICEF for PaperSmart Executive Board
sessions. It has not only saved resources, but also made work more effective
and contributes to the green thinking in development.
A year ago we gave our full support
to the innovative vision of the future. We are glad to witness a successful
increase in efficiency and effectiveness in use of resources and in simplification
and harmonization of business practices with other United Nations agencies to
implement the common programmes. It has proved to be successful and should be
as a lead pattern to all agencies how to save costs on management and
operations. We also look forward to the operationalization of QCPR.
The Estonian government has
contributed to UNICEF' resources for 15 years and will continue to do so with significant
increase in our core contribution for this year. As a small country with success
story in using wide range of innovative solutions in our everyday life, we entirely
support UNICEF's vision to use innovative solutions and partnerships to scale
up its activities to support the most disadvantaged, to increase the quality of
education, improve the efficiency of humanitarian actions. We would like to see
stronger emphasis on linking humanitarian actions and development programmes,
with further focus on preparedness and resilience. We highly welcome UNICEF
initiative for South-South cooperation which has proved to be very effective in
different regions in Asia and Africa,
especially in sharing innovative experiences.
Estonia also wants to commend the
contributions made to the independent evaluation on Delivering as One, as well
as the effort to develop a set of standard operating procedures. This is very
important in order to deliver results coherently, efficiently and
cost-effectively. Estonia shares the view of UNICEF and believes it its crucial
to follow up on the findings of the evaluation in order to strengthen Delivering
as One and UN operations at country level.
Rights of children
is one of Estonian human rights priorities. Child protection concerns arise in
all parts of the world, in situations of crisis and stability – allow me to
note that Estonia values highly the child protection and awareness raising work
UNICEF is doing, often SO in conflict situations. Last time we discussed the
thematic focus of child protection was in 2011, we are looking forward to further
discussions on this topic.
We also highly appreciate UNICEF's
focus on gender and that gender equality has been placed at the centre
of ongoing efforts to achieve results for all children, including the most
vulnerable and marginalized. We would like to ensure that gender concerns are
addressed adequately in all programmes and we encourage continuing partnerships
with other agencies and organizations in the area of gender equality,
especially with UN-Women and UNFPA. We continue to support UNICEF's activities
in providing emergency education, responding to gender based violence and
providing services for women and girls seeking assistance in conflict affected
areas. Estonia also welcomes further
strengthening of the Human Rights-based Approach in UNICEF's programmes.