Some of my colleagues have already delivered important statements on the Annual Report. The statement by Kenya placed this discussion in a perspective; why this meeting is important and why the work of UNICEF is important.
Norway has over many years maintained a high level of support to UNICEF; USD 200 000 annually over the last years, making us the third largest donor to UNICEF after the US and the UK.
We therefore welcome the comprehensive and detailed report from the Executive Director. In the UN we have many meetings and many reports and the quality of these is always a topic. UNICEF manages to be on the high end of this scale and has here presented an annual report that is better than many others.
Still, we would like to encourage UNICEF to continue the efforts of improving its result based reporting. We are dependent on as accurate reporting as possible, as this relates to the strategic plan. We recommend a continued attention to risk assessment and mitigation of risk.
We look forward to regular updates in future reports on lessons learned and recommendations for future strategies, as expected by the Executive Board in previous decisions. We again ask for this, as the sharing of past practices, also practices that have been less successful, are a valuable tool for improvements and make our interaction with UNICEF staff more useful.
A topic of great interest for Norway is gender equality. Important steps taken on mainstreaming gender equality have been taken, but there is continued room for improvement and we will follow this closely.
Rights of children – individual rights and collective rights – are not easily referred to as a bulk. There are different rights; human rights, legal rights etc. and we would welcome even more space and time to be used on this in the report.
The results workshop in May was an important first step and we look forward to further consultations with UNICEF and members of the Executive Board on strategic focus and the new results-framework for the next Strategic Plan. Based on the Executive Board decision last February, we expected a revised version of the roadmap for developing the strategic plan and results framework would be presented to this meeting
As our concluding remark, we would like to express our appreciation of the important work UNICEF is doing as a vice chair together with UNFPA in the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, co-chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and our own Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. We sincerely hope that the recommendations in the report to be presented in September will have a profound impact on the lives of children in developing countries.
Thank you, President.