Statement by H.E. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Second Regular Session 2018 of the Executive Board of UNICEF, New York, 12 September, 2018
Thank you, Mr. President,
1. At the outset I like to appreciate the Executive Director of UNICEF Ms. Henrietta Fore for her comprehensive statement today which highlighted a range of challenges children and young people facing worldwide and how UNICEF is responding to these challenging situations through extensive use of contemporary innovations and modern technologies. We join Ms. Fore to call for regaining humanity, re-commiting ourselves to humanitarian principles, silence the guns worldwide, extend support to innocent children caught up in conflicts, stop all forms of violence to children and young peoples’ agenda for making the world a better living place for us and for them. We believe finding answers to her three questions would be critical in delivering mandates better under current strategic plan and focus will be more on innovation to influence the work, results, ecosystems and partnerships of UNICEF.
2. Since children will lead the world in the future, without our strong commitment for the agenda that safeguards their existence, growth and well- being, no program will be sustainable. Every stage of a child’s life cycle must be safe, secured and we need to ensure financing for all these activities reverting the current trend of displacing millions of children by natural and manmade causes throughout the world.
3. As identified by the Executive Director, children and young people remains the most vulnerable section of the society as hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, abuse, diseases, discrimination etc. continues to affect them most adversely in the least developed countries. Impacts of climate change and exposure to the risks of exclusion in the conflict zones compounded the marginalization of the children manifold than the adults. We express our concern about violation of the rights of the children in conflicts, war and humanitarian situations.
4. Appropriate strategies are critical tools to attract resources and leverage results. We observe that UNICEF’s importance in integrating development approaches into humanitarian responses is expected to ensure support for children over a sustained period as they grow during vulnerable conditions. We commend its efforts to become more efficient, cost effective and integrate programs across the sectors for enabling better service to greater number of children. Strategies to win support for the cause of children, leveraging resources and partnerships, using power of business, market and evidence as the driver of change for the children are steps in the right direction. Like its recent Venture Fund, UNICEF may continue its innovative approach in exploring new financing sources and methods.
5. Bangladesh has made considerable progress in protecting and promoting child rights. Excellence in social indicators particularly the ones related to improving children’s life and well-being was one of the major factors towards fulfilling thresholds for graduating from LDC category. Reducing child mortality, declining malnutrition and increasing primary school enrolment is noteworthy in this regard. UNICEF’s study reveals that our government’s investment in social safety net programmes, adolescent health, and opportunities for secondary education for girls helped positively in ending child marriage. We request UNICEF’s increased support to Bangladesh to stop stunting, reduce under 10 mortality caused by drowning, road accidents and other preventable causes.
6. Bangladesh has a longstanding and trusted partnership with UNICEF. We acknowledge UNICEF’s support to our government and people along with other UN entities, international and national organization in addressing the humanitarian crisis created due to the influx of more than 700000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals of which majority are children and women from Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 2017. More needs to be done to protect the vulnerable children from traffickers and other dangers and to provide psychosocial care to those who are still traumatized by the experiences that drove them from their homes. The Executive Director’s statement today exposes the reality that “half a million Rohingya children are struggling to have access to learning”. We convey our heartfelt thanks to UNICEF staff at the headquarters, regional and Bangladesh country team for their outstanding services under challenging situations while working in the Rohingya camps. I would like to remind Ms. Henrietta to visit the camps and see for herself the vulnerabilities of the distressed children specially the new born.
7. Finally, I like to assure UNICEF our support in implementing its Strategic Plan, Bangladesh country program and continuing the humanitarian work that are being done in the camps of Cox’s bazar.
I thank you Mr. President