Remarks at the UNICEF Annual Session of the Executive Board

Jim Morris
U.S. Representative to UNICEF Executive Board
New York City
June 11, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President. We wish you well.

Executive Director Fore, thank you for your presentation and for challenging us to focus on the strategic issues that have a real effect on the well-being of children.

This week’s annual session is taking place at a critical time for UNICEF, particularly as the world confronts unprecedented security challenges and humanitarian emergencies. I would like to take this opportunity to share U.S. views with Board members and UNICEF leadership.

The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance globally and the top humanitarian donor to UNICEF. This longstanding commitment is a sign of our strong belief in the importance of UNICEF’s humanitarian work. We know that in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF plays an instrumental role in the community, brokering, building the necessary trust and relationships on the ground to ensure that communities are empowered in the fight to contain the spread of Ebola.

It is important to note that UNICEF does not and cannot work alone. The United States encourages UNICEF to continue to improve management cost-efficiencies, including strengthening the coordination and harmonization of its assistance with other humanitarian actors, especially WFP, UNHCR, and OCHA.

Mr. President, the United States sees evaluation, monitoring, and, more broadly, knowledge management as vital components to the success of humanitarian interventions, and we consider both aspects as key to ensuring that UNICEF’s humanitarian action is both responsive and impactful.

The United States appreciates and admires UNICEF’s leadership and stresses the importance of a collaborative approach within the UN system and globally.

In conclusion, Mr. President, may I offer just a word of gratitude, admiration, and appreciation for the life of U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar who served from the state of Indiana for 36 years. He was one of the great leaders of the last half-century in advancing the world’s humanitarian agenda – a man with incredible passion and commitment to children anywhere and everywhere.

Thank you, sir.