UNICEF has released their 2011 Annual Report. The report gives a global overview of the previous year’s achievements and highlights a number of various international, regional, and national collaborations. The report highlights UNICEF’s contributions to achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals by providing increased assistance to children in need around the globe. The report highlights how UNICEF is continuing to achieve greater and more sustainable results in improving children’s health and, in general, its continued commitment to children through its programs in more than 150 countries and territories. During 2011, UNICEF helped more disadvantaged children across the globe than any other organization or State to reach their full potential. UNICEF achieved these developmental feats with interventions to save and enhance children’s lives, underscoring the importance of expanding efforts to reach the poorest and most remote communities. UNICEF also helped communities affected by crisis to rebuild and strengthen their resilience for the future.
The report noted the success gained as they backed the expansion of social protection in 93 countries in 2011 and emphasized how UNICEF increased their commitment from last year by looking at each of the the priority areas:
The report placed heavy focus on the implementation of their equity agenda in order to ensure that the rights of those children who are the most marginalized and most in need assistance are given precedence. Research shows that the most sustainable and effective solution for the global welfare of the child is to ensure that those most marginalized–primarily girls–are placed at the top of the agenda. In 2011, UNICEF was faced with many challenges to their goals, yet the needs of these children were adequately met in the wake of such natural disasters as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, extreme flooding in Pakistan, and the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.
In addition to the release of the 2011 Annual report this month, UNICEF held their 2012 Annual session where the the executive board reviews UNICEF activities and approves its policies, country programs, and budget. It comprises 36 members, representing the five regional groups of member states at the United Nations. The executive board opened the first meeting of the session by focusing on achieving sustainable development for children and closed the day emphasizing stronger partnerships and increased innovations to make sure that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are met by 2015.
“We have much to be proud of in the achievement of both national and international goals and targets, especially the Millennium Development Goals. However, meeting goals will not be enough in many cases,” said His Excellency John W. Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and President of the UNICEF Executive Board, during his opening remarks. “In order to have lasting value, they must be achieved with equity, especially for the most disadvantaged.”
Other meetings during the Annual Session focused on the organization’s recent efforts to promote gender equality through all of its humanitarian and development programs. Noting their their strong partnerships with UN-Women and other UN agencies, Ms. Malhortra said: “The sum of our work in the last year has produced notable achievements and progress.” She also noted that considerable strides have been made toward achieving gender equality in young children’s access to education, health care, and other essential services, but significant inequalities arise as children reach adolescence.
During the final day of the Annual Session, the executive board reviewed the discussions to address key issues affecting children and adopted a number of decisions regarding the work of the organization, including making all UNICEF audit reports publicly available on the Internet, starting later this year.