Remarks at UNICEF Executive Board Meeting

Jonathan Shrier
U.S. Deputy Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
June 13, 2023


Madame President, Madam Executive Director, thank you for your remarks.

At the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda, we are at a pivotal moment for the UN development system. The United States is fully committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. We appreciate your leadership, Madam Executive Director, and the dedication of all UNICEF staff to leaving no one behind and achieving a more equitable, just, and sustainable future for children and adolescents worldwide.

With this in mind, the United States is proud to have been UNICEF’s top core and overall contributor in 2022. We take this opportunity to appreciate some of UNICEF’s critical contributions and call on the international community to support efforts to do more. Let me cite just five among many examples:

  1. Together our dedication to addressing malnutrition and treat child wasting helped UNICEF respond quickly in 2022, treating 25 percent more children in countries with the highest levels of need.
  2. The United States recently announced $524 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa to support our efforts to confront acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
  3. We applaud UNICEF’s broad contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic response. We must reclaim lost progress on maternal, newborn and child survival; vaccinations; and essential care. UNICEF’s continued efforts will be critical.
  4. We commend UNICEF on its Disability Inclusion Policy and Strategy and look forward to opportunities to offer our support.
  5. Finally, we thank UNICEF for its leadership on localization. Our journey to accelerate achievement of the SDGs requires participation of regional and local actors, civil society and the private sector.

As we work to maximize the impact of all UN agencies, the United States is committed to centering our work around upholding the inherent dignity of every human being. We commit to:

  • Honest and hopeful dialogue to identify innovative solutions to urgent problems.
  • Balancing ambition with pragmatism, while strengthening transparency, accountability, effective program delivery, and, most important, results.
  • And last, a clear-eyed perspective on identifying and ending programs and practices that do not work and scrutinizing “business-as-usual,” particularly as related to efforts around gender equality, inclusivity, and strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus.

Colleagues, now is the moment to turn ambition and words into concrete change. Every word, every engagement, every effort of this Executive Board should have a clear objective and serve to unify our efforts around the potential for UNICEF to support our collective ambition. We do not have a moment to lose.

We look forward to working with the Board President and the rest of the Executive Board to ensure that UNICEF – and all agencies – continue to deliver results in the most effective, efficient, and high-impact ways for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Thank you.