Remarks at UNICEF Executive Board’s Second Regular Session

Courtney R. Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
September 11, 2019
New York


Thank you, Mr. President for your remarks. I also wish to thank Executive Director Fore for her report to the Executive Board and for her ongoing leadership. I also thank the youth representatives for your participation in this session of the board. Before getting down to the business at hand, I wish to reiterate the United States’ condolences to all those in The Bahamas who have lost loved ones and to the communities affected by the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. The U.S. Government and the American people are supporting the efforts of the Bahamian government to provide immediate disaster relief, including working with the United Nations, to provide assistance to those in need. We stand hand in hand with our Bahamian friends and partners and have one shared goal: to assist the victims of one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded.

These efforts by the international community are a re-affirmation of the importance of our friendships and partnerships and a reminder of UNICEF’s critical role, commitment and expertise in responding to humanitarian emergencies and working with sister UN agencies and international partners, to help countries in need.

UNICEF has the global mandate and the necessary convening power, combined with a tremendous network reach to influence the global agenda toward better outcomes for children. Working hand in hand with governments and civil society to strengthen the institutional framework for child protection is necessary for the promotion and fulfillment of the rights of all children and should be at the heart of UNICEF’s work. ‎A systems-strengthening approach is the most effective way of tackling pressing child- protection challenges. With this aim in mind, the findings of the evaluation to be discussed under Item 8 point to the need for our sustained attention. The evaluation concludes that the conceptual clarity on child protection systems strengthening in UNICEF is incomplete and that monitoring and reporting on its child protection system strengthening needs to be further developed

It is important to note that UNICEF does not and cannot act alone. The United States is a strong supporter of UNICEF’s work and encourages other countries to continue and step up their support as well. We encourage UNICEF to continue to forge and expand partnerships with governments, civil society, and the private sector to enhance its capabilities in deliver services.

As the implementation of UN development system reform and the new Resident Coordinator system progresses, we encourage UNICEF to continue to strengthen coordination with sister agencies within the UN country team to maximize the impact of its work and the work of the UN as a whole. We encourage UNICEF to continue to share information with the Executive Board on the status of reform implementation, including UNICEF’s contributions to the reform efforts, as well as challenges to UNICEF’s work.

Finally, Mr. President, as this is the bureau’s final formal session of this year, we would to thank you and the bureau vice presidents. One of the most important legacies of your leadership is the importance you all have placed on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. As we evaluate the Board’s program of work for 2020, we hope PSEA remains a pillar of this Board’s attention.

Thank you.