At Annual Meet, New UNICEF Chief Tony Lake Discusses MDG Plans

At its annual meeting, the UNICEF executive board highlights the progress the agency has made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals on education, nutrition and health of children worldwide. Photo by: UNICEF/Josh Estey

In his first address before the UNICEF executive board, newly appointed Executive Director Tony Lake echoed the U.N. system’s tall order of reaching the world’s “forgotten” children as a critical step to reducing global poverty.

“Wherever the world’s poorest children are, wherever the most vulnerable children are, wherever the forgotten children are – that is where we must also be in even greater measure than in the past,” asserted Lake during the opening of UNICEF’s 2010 annual session, June 1-4 in New York.

Lake highlighted the importance of technology and partnerships with other organizations to further the cause of the world’s poorest 20 percent.

Five years before the targeted realization of the Millennium Development Goals – and 50 years after the adoption of the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child – global efforts have yet to sustainably save the children from hunger, ill health and lack of education, event participants noted.

Ambassador Morten Wetland, Norway’s permanent representative to the U.N., said that unschooled children are mostly in conflict and crisis areas representing 39 million of the total 72 worldwide.

The UN member countries will be working on the MDG outcome report over the next three months for the upcoming high-level summit on September. Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., said local and national policies targeting girls and women empowerment, health, education and social integration should be included in the document.

Rice suggested that this “can have powerful spillover effects and promote progress across many MDGs.”

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    Kristine Ballad

    As Devex staff writer, Kristine focuses on breaking news from around the globe, and on Philippine development in particular. She served more than half of her working years in Philippine government, working as public information officer and as writer at the House of Representatives.

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