The Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations, Sven Jürgenson was elected as the new President of the Bureau of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for 2016. The Vice-Presidents of the Bureau are Antigua and Barbuda, Nepal, Japan and Zambia.
In his speech following the vote, Ambassador Sven Jürgenson spoke about the humanitarian situation in the world, which has worsened significantly. “Humanitarian crises are becoming more and more serious and children are usually the ones who suffer the most in conflict areas,” Jürgenson said. “UNICEF’s activity to improve the situation of children is of utmost importance,” he added.
In 2014-2015, Estonia supported UNICEF’s activities with a total of 1.2 million euros. Estonia has supported assisting children through UNICEF in places such as Syria, Ukraine, South Sudan, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Georgia, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Authority. Estonia will continue to support UNICEF this year.
The Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund shall monitor the situation and adopt decisions so that the organization can function as efficiently as possible and in order for the needs and interests of the recipient countries to be protected in the best way possible. As President, Estonia also has the obligation to lead UNICEF bureau and executive board meetings, to participate in visits abroad and arrange negotiations.
A total of 36 countries are members of the UNICEF Executive Board and their meetings are open to all countries. The Board is chaired by a five-member Bureau composed of the President and four Vice-Presidents – one from each of the five UN regional groups. The Board meets three times a year. Its first meeting will take place on February 2-4, thereafter in June and September. This year, the most pressing issues for UNICEF include the commencement of the implementation of sustainable development goals recently adopted by the UN, and a review of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. Scheduled for the first session of the year is a discussion of UNICEF activities in the context of humanitarian crises.
Estonia has been a member of the UNICEF Executive Board since 2011 and in 2015 was a Vice-President of the Bureau of the UNICEF Executive Board. Estonian has supported UNICEF's activities since 1999.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS’ DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION
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