Remarks to the UNICEF Executive Board

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, NY
September 6, 2022


Thank you, Madame President, and congratulations on your new position. We will submit a fuller version of this statement for the record.

Madame Executive Director, thank you for your opening remarks, for your leadership and for the efforts of UNICEF’s staff in this exceptional moment. We will submit a full version of this statement for the record.

The United States appreciates UNICEF’s tireless efforts to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities we face in meeting the needs of our most precious population. UNICEF continues to be an essential beacon and advocate for leaving no child behind.

We could not agree more with your characterization of the most pressing issues facing children today. Their futures are more uncertain than ever. We need urgent, innovative solutions to address COVID-19-related education loss, end the acute phase of the pandemic; respond to an unprecedented number of humanitarian emergencies; and fight the global food security crisis, caused by Russia’s unprovoked, illegal aggression in Ukraine.

Childhood education is in peril due to COVID-19-related school disruptions. The United States views the upcoming Transforming Education Summit as a timely opportunity to mobilize practical action to recover from pandemic-related learning losses, particularly for girls, children with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, and revitalize efforts to achieve SDG-4 on quality education.

Colleagues, OCHA estimates more than 640,000 people around the world, particularly in South Sudan, Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, and Ethiopia, are “projected to experience catastrophe-level food insecurity as a result of conflict and violence”. This is in addition to near-famine conditions in Somalia – conditions WFP declared yesterday as an imminent reality.

No child should die from malnutrition when we collectively have the power to stop it. The United States is pleased to partner with UNICEF to combat severe child wasting through our recent, unprecedented investment of $200 million to scale up access to ready-to-use therapeutic foods and wasting treatment. We call on all Member States to contribute to this urgent effort as we seek to raise an additional $250 million before the UN General Assembly meets later this month.

Madame Executive Director, the United States takes this opportunity to express our appreciation for your and your team’s openness to work with the Executive Board to strengthen oversight and accountability, including to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment. We call for all UN entities to do more to address systemic weaknesses that cause victims to feel marginalized and ignored, and perpetrators to be protected. We have every confidence in your leadership to continue to address this high priority issue. Such efforts are essential to the performance of the organization, the endurance of its partnerships, and UNICEF’s effectiveness in implementing our collective goals.

The United States remains deeply committed to continuing collaboration with UNICEF. Madame Executive Director, you said it best, because we can make a difference, we must make a difference. Thank you.