Statement by Minister Plenipotentiary Silberberg on the Report of the Executive Director of UNICEF

Feb 5, 2013

Statement by Minister Plenipotentiary Silberberg on the Annual Report to the ECOSOC during the First Regular Session 2013 of the Executive Board of UNICEF 

"Dear Mr. President, 

Let me first of all congratulate you as well as the other members of the Bureau on your recent election. Although only observer at the Executive Board in 2013, Germany looks forward to continue to participate actively in the Board meetings and to work together closely with you and the other members of the Bureau. 

I would also like to thank the Executive Director Mr. Lake for his interesting remarks this morning and Director O’Malley for his very comprehensive and informative report. Once again, it was impressive to see in how many different ways UNICEF is active to improve the lives of children all around the world. I would like to share with you the following observations: 

First: Director O’Malley made a reference to the pledge “A promise renewed”: We are very happy to hear that almost all UN member states, including my own country, have signed the pledge. It is very important that we keep going on mobilizing and intensifying global action to improve the health of women and children around the world, as agreed upon with the “Every woman every child” initiative. With common efforts and renewed commitment we can accelerate the decline in child and maternal mortality, enabling more countries to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015. 

Secondly: I would also like to mention the urgent need of more assistance for the reintegration of children that have been victims of armed conflicts: 

Germany has taken pride in chairing the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) over the last two years. This relatively new mechanism has proven to be very successful and has led to the release of tens of thousands of child soldiers. However, we have learned that it is crucial to make sure that those who have been released are effectively re-integrated in society. UNICEF and other actors on the ground are doing a fantastic job in supporting governments to do so, but they need our constant financial support to keep up the good work. We will continue to support these actors and would like to encourage others to also dedicate more resources to this cause. 

Third: The importance of the new Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) for the work on the new Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) cannot be overemphasized. We therefore encourage UNICEF, together with other UN agencies, to develop indicators in the action plans that will be integrated into the MTSP and the respective strategic plans to monitor the implementation of the QCPR. 

In future reports we would also like to see a greater focus on results. Therefore in the next MTSP we expect UNICEF to include a strong results framework that includes clear targets and indicators including qualitative indicators. 

The QCPR mentions the resident coordinator system as one important factor for successful cooperation and coherence at country level. We welcome that 11 staff members of UNICEF served as Resident Coordinators in 2011 and 10 do so in 2012. We encourage UNICEF to further improve incentives for their staff to serve as resident coordinators. The resident coordinator system needs the commitment and participation of all agencies to remain successful and increase effectiveness and efficiency. We welcome efforts to further cost sharing for the RC system between agencies and the advances made for a system of cost sharing. We would like to know where this agreement currently stands. 

In this context we also welcome UNICEFs commitment to Delivering as One and encourage UNICEF to continue working on the set of standard operating procedures with other entities in order to enable the UN system to deliver better results. 

Fourth: Gender is one of the intersecting forms of discrimination and needs to be taken into account under an equity agenda. We therefore welcome UNICEFs efforts in gender mainstreaming and its active participation in piloting the System Wide Action plan. In this context, I would likle to ask: What are the main lessons learnt of the Strategic Priority Action Plan for Gender Equality? 

Fifth: We are pleased by UNICEFs commitment to improve data generation through innovative means, especially real time data to identify bottlenecks and immediate needs. We believe that the project MoRES(Monitoring Results for Equity Systems) is an important tool to generate this real time data and to better understand the needs of the most disadvantaged children. We encourage UNICEF to further develop this tool and share it with other agencies to improve the evidence-base of UN and improve the results delivered for the most vulnerable children and their families. 

Mr. President,

We welcome the recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and UNICEFs response to this report. We call on UNICEF to continue to implement recommendations by the JIU and report to the Executive Board in this regard. 

Finally, we are pleased by UNICEFs efforts to reduce costs though environmentally friendly technologies at headquarter as well as country level. The second paper smart executive Board session is just one example of these measures that will make our work more environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

Thank you"

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