Denmark is one of the top-10 donors to UNICEF and in 2014 Denmark has the honour of being one of the vice-presidents of the Executive Board of UNICEF. The vice-presidency is an opportunity to strengthen the cooperation even more and to promote Danish development priorities such as education, human rights and child protection in UNICEF’s work.
UNICEF is mandated by the UN General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Human rights and child rights principles guide all of the organisation’s work. Furthermore, UNICEF is working with a so-called “double mandate”, which means the organization is working in both emergency situations and with more long-term development. As mentioned, Denmark is one of the 10 largest government donors of core funding to UNICEF and the organisation’s work relates to many of the priorities for Danish development cooperation. The Danish development priorities are set out in the Danish strategy for development cooperation “The Right to a Better Life”. Denmark supports UNICEF because it has extensive experience and expertise in advancing the rights of children; it has the scale and presence to effectively support education in humanitarian situations and it plays the crucial role of connecting humanitarian and development work.
During the Danish vice-presidency, the Permanent Representative of Denmark will focus on strengthening UNICEF’s work on building bridge between humanitarian action and development assistance through increasing children and their families’ resilience against future crises, but also through early recovery.
“UNICEF is an important global development organisation but we also see UNICEF as a major and trusted humanitarian partner, right now doing tremendous work in crisis hotspots such as Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. To ensure that these situations do not become protracted humanitarian crises, UNICEF and all humanitarian actors have to think ahead from the outset of their engagement. This means planning how these countries, populations and especially children as soon as possible will be able to return to normality and rebuild their societies and lives. Children are crucial since they are the ones who will grow up and help rebuild and develop their country.” - Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Mr Ib Petersen
Denmark will also focus on supporting UNICEF’s work to promote quality education including in post-conflict and humanitarian situations and to ensure the rights of every child through a Human Rights Based Approach and child protection. Denmark is promoting UNICEF’s work on innovation and will through a special Danish innovation facility of 10 million DKK support UNICEF’s innovative activities and approaches.
UNICEF Executive Board meets regularly three times a year, and the first regular session in February focused especially on UNICEF’s new initiative ‘Strengthening Humanitarian Action’. The Board will meet again for its annual meeting on 3-6 June followed by the third regular board meeting on 9-12 September. As part of the active board membership and the role as vice-president, Ambassador Ib Petersen will be participating in a UNICEF bureau field trip to Burkina Faso. Representatives from the five country groups in the Executive Board will go on a field visit to Sudan. On behalf of the Western and Others Group, the Danish expert working on UNICEF, Emilie Juel Christensen, will participate.
© UNICEF Ambassador and PR, Mr. Ib Petersen supporting the #ENDviolence against children campaign at UNICEF board meeting
Denmark membership of Executive Board