Multilateral Relations

EU Intervention: UNICEF Board Meeting: Opening Remarks

New York, 11/02/2020 - 18:06, UNIQUE ID: 200210_13
Statements on behalf of the EU

11 February 2020, New York – Intervention by the European Union as a donor at the UNICEF Executive Board Meeting in response to the opening remarks by UNICEF Executive Directory: Agenda Item 1

Chair, Madam Executive Director


I am speaking on behalf of the European Union as a donor. We express our gratitude to UNICEF staff for their strong commitment, delivering emergency humanitarian assistance and helping build longer-term resilience and development capacities. We welcome the Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 appeal and encourage UNICEF to further strengthen their emergency response capacity and risk-informed approaches. We also encourage UNICEF to strengthen its role as cluster lead or co-lead to ensure that clusters are effective tools for joint analysis, priority setting and response planning. We count on UNICEF to strongly advocate for and uphold the humanitarian principles in an increasingly challenging operational environment. We also encourage UNICEF to use their dual mandate to build effectively bridges between humanitarian and development initiatives.


Humanitarian Response Plans and Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks are underfunded. Therefore, we reiterate the importance of a solid joined-up effort by all actors to contribute to the collective response, in line with their respective comparative advantages and mandates. We encourage UNICEF to keep building robust cooperation and synergies with other UN agencies. We strongly encourage agencies to strive for efficiency gains, in particular by reducing indirect costs and increasing economies of scale, ensuring a maximum of aid reaches final beneficiaries.


In this context, we recall our strong support to the UN Development System reform, including the specific Funding Compact commitments to enhance efficiency and transparency. We welcome the efforts by UNICEF and the other New York-based agencies to build on the reform momentum towards increased joint action. We encourage broadening this effort to UN agencies based in other locations, thereby contributing towards the goal of “the UN system delivering as one”.


Staff is UNICEF’s major asset. Hence, we very much appreciate the Executive Director’s transparent and determined approach regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, exploitation and abuse, and any other form of misconduct. As a donor, we fully support a zero tolerance approach in this respect. We also encourage cooperation with others who may be facing similar challenges. This will help promote adequate system-wide standards.


The European Union remains strongly committed to promoting and protecting the rights of the child. We are therefore looking forward to continuing our partnership with UNICEF to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people.


Thank you.

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