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UNICEF Executive Board, 2022 Annual Session

UNICEF Executive Board, Annual Session

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Italy

Thank you Mr. President and thank you, Madame Executive Director, for your comprehensive presentation on UNICEF’s action for children particularly in challenging times. Italy fully supports your vision and approach.

Madame Executive Director,

You had the chance to see yourself the combined impact of COVID-19, climate change and increased conflicts and crises on children all over the world, from Afghanistan to Yemen, from the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, from Asia to Latin America and now even in Europe, due to dramatic effects of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Let alone the millions of children globally exposed to food insecurity that the war in Ukraine significatively exacerbated.

We commend UNICEF’s presence at the frontlines of all those emergencies for children and we stand ready to continuing working together and deliver together. We appreciate UNICEF’s effectiveness in rapidly scaling-up its programs in Ukraine and in the region. At the same time, we also shall not surrender to the idea of endless or forgotten crises around the world, starting from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, especially because children are those who pay the direst consequences. No crisis should be managed at the cost of other crises. And I agree with you, solutions need collective and inclusive action and SDGs implementation will require targeted forceful investments in children and children fundamental rights.

For this reason, Italy has increased its support to UNICEF’s programs across the board, including by increasing our core resources and by providing additional support to UNICEF thematic programs, including on COVID-19 immunization.

We encourage UNICEF to continue acting along the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, and to further strengthening its joint action with the UN sister Agencies and the UN Development System.

We also support your action for internal transformation at UNICEF, driven by results, efficiency and values and in this regard, we highlight the key role and the growing potential of UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti in Florence. We welcome UNICEF’s plan to further strengthen its presence in Florence and look forward to consulting with UNICEF on its implementation.

Finally, I also wish to underscore the exemplary role of UNICEF in partnerships with the private sector and especially of National Commissions, through which for example the Italian people continue to provide record-high additional financial support to the Fund.

I thank you, Mr. President.