Remarks by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at UNICEF Executive Board Annual Session
Mr President, Mr Executive Director, distinguished delegates,
Having heard the comprehensive overview of UNICEF´s annual report, allow
me to congratulate the Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake and the whole
organization of UNICEF for the good progress gained and results achieved for the
children around the world, and for the steps taken forward towards the
Millennium Development Goals.
First, Estonia welcomes the efforts made by different agencies and
programmes to improve the way they work together. The synchronised
development of strategic plans of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UN-Women and UNICEF
will ensure improvement in action while reducing duplication and therefore also
administrative costs. Estonia also commends UNICEF’s contribution to fostering
coherence and synergies among all funds, programmes and agencies within the UN
to better support countries, and efforts made by using innovations and ICT solutions.
The launch of the VISION system that provides the real-time information is a
good example in this respect.
We are also encouraged to see the good work already done on gender
equality and empowerment of women and girls. We strongly support UNICEF endeavours
in this long term challenge that needs customized country level approach and
sufficient financial attention as well. However, referring to the annual
report, Estonia encourages UNICEF to focus even more on generating awareness
shift on gender-based and family violence that almost always affects children
directly or indirectly and feeds in a new cycle of violence. We value highly
the work UNICEF has done in cooperation with UN-Women and applaud the
continuous emphasis on that issue. But
we should not forget boys as well.
We highly appreciate UNICEF´s humanitarian programmes and the role
they have on lives of countless children in acute and long-term crises. Evidently children in fragile and conflict-affected
states are most vulnerable with long term impact on their lives. Therefore we give
importance to UNICEF´s endeavours of strengthening the linkage between humanitarian
and development assistance and building resilience. Estonia wants herewith
underpin UNICEF´s extraordinary devotion on responding to the Syrian crises,
including warranting children´s rights on education in many refugee camps in
In September, the Executive Board
will approve the new Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2017. We are
grateful for your and UNICEF’s hard work and outreach on the draft that we will
be discussing during this week. Estonia supports all the seven priority
outcomes of the UNICEF´s Strategic Plan 2014-2017, particularly the inclusion
of child protection as standalone priority.
welcome centrality of gender equality and rights of all children,
importance of partnerships and humanitarian activities, if just to name a few.
We are also looking forward to the
first integrated budgeting of the Strategy and want to recognize the
significant increase of resources that will be available for country programs.
Additionally, we highlight the importance of strengthening capacities
for effective preparedness and integrating humanitarian and development
programming to promote resilience.
We praise UNICEF’s commitment to continue to be actively engaged in the
implementation of QCPR and one of its essential components, ‘Delivering
We have continued interest in further strengthening Delivering as One to
achieve better and more cost-effective results at country level and are
therefore pleased that UNICEF has contributed constructively to the development of
Standard Operating Procedures for Delivering as One.
Estonian government has contributed
to UNICEF’s funds for 15 years already and is committed to continue to do so
with progressive way in our core contribution. Thank you!