Statement by H.E. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the First Regular Session 2019 of the Executive Board of UNICEF
New York, 5 February 2019
Thank you, Mr. President,
- Congratulations on being elected as the President of the Executive Board and your thought-provoking opening statement.
- Executive Director Ms. Henrietta Fore provided us a comprehensive overview of the strategies & plans on the issue specific actions UNICEF has undertaken. Her pragmatic leadership has recognized the global challenges faced by UNICEF to protect the rights of the children affected by under-development and humanitarian situations. We appreciate UNICEF’s commitment to realign its operational and programmatic strategies based on these challenges and the principles of UNDS reform such as service modernization, value for money, strengths of performance culture, value of human capital and business innovation. We believe by resorting to available technology like video conferencing, cloud computing, local level procurement and sourcing of equipment & supplies further efficiency gains are possible. The ambitious goals to garner partnership with the private sector could form an important block for the new funding compact. I would also like to express our appreciation for the well thought out strategy to deal with the menace of sexual exploitation & abuse. Thank you, Ms. Henrietta Fore for your commitment. As we prepare for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Rights of the Child Convention, we feel confident that you are at the helm of the affairs.
- 2030 Agenda is our collective commitment to the children of the world. Striking right balance between development and humanitarian priorities particularly for UNICEF is critical as we see more humanitarian events taking toll on both psychosocial and life cycle well being of an increasing number of children. Generally, the disparity between children of under-developed and children of developed countries are more than their adult counterparts. This disparity is likely to increase in coming years as the world is approaching the 4th industrial revolution. The education system and curriculum in under-developed economies are increasingly becoming redundant. Putting more children in a dysfunctional system with an outdated curriculum is unlikely to yield the expected outcomes for children in a highly competitive technology-based workspace. Instead, the very structure and process of education in the developing economies, particularly in LDCs will need an overhaul if we aim to provide children with the required knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies needed for futuristic jobs. The Generation Unlimited initiative of UNICEF is a great start and we would like to get more involved in shaping this initiative and benefitting from it. I would encourage UNICEF to get more involved with Generation AI.
- Implementation of UNDS reform has already started and global expectation on the UN System to deliver as one has also increased. We feel encouraged to know that UNICEF has already produced initial savings of 25 million dollars through efficiency gains and is planning to outsource some specific tasks. This is a development in the right direction and will make additional funds available to serve more children in need. Commitment towards the adoption of system-wide innovation is also very much aligned with the core focus of the UN’s development strategies.
- Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh has made considerable progress in protecting and promoting child rights. Major achievements include reducing child mortality, declining malnutrition, increasing primary school enrolment, distribution of millions of free textbooks on 1st of January every year, child-focused expenditure tracking and implementation of the National Action plan to control repression against children and women. UNICEF’s study reveals that the government’s investments in social safety net programs, adolescent health, and opportunities for secondary education for girls helped positively towards ending child marriage. We would like to see UNICEF’s increased support to stop stunting, reduce under 10 mortality by drowning and road accidents and other prevalent causes in Bangladesh.
- UNICEF’s longstanding partnership with Bangladesh has been reinforced by its recent role in tackling catastrophic situation created by the sudden influx of Rohingya Refugees of which the majority are children. We gratefully acknowledge the excellent support provided by UNICEF on the ground to join hand with the Government and the people of Bangladesh in reassuring support to the traumatized children and women. 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. Needs of children of the host population have to be addressed too. We hope that the Executive Director during her visit to Bangladesh will do more to mitigate the sufferings of the Rohingya children living in the camps of Cox’s bazar.
I thank you Mr. President.