Statement of Lithuania at UNICEF First regular session of the Executive Board
National statement delivered by Ambassador Audra Plepytė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN and Vice-President of UNICEF Executive Board, at the UNICEF First regular session of the Executive Board.
I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you assuming your functions as a President of the UNICEF Executive Board. I also welcome new members of the Executive Board.
We thank Executive Director H. Fore for her remarks outlining the main areas and priorities for the year ahead and identifying challenges we face. Let me also use this opportunity to praise the work of all UNICEF staff in the field and headquarters, for their dedication and tireless efforts for the protection and benefit of the children.
We praise UNICEF and its leadership for an important role in women and girls empowerment and gender equality. We fully support and encourage further implementation of Zero tolerance policy by UNICEF for sexual exploitation and abuse, and for sexual harassment.
Lithuania shares the identified priorities and strongly supports UNICEF, implementing its mandate in both humanitarian and development spheres. We also emphasize the importance of further practical implementation of the UNDS reform, especially on the ground.
We strongly support further strengthening of cooperation among UNICEF and other UN agencies as well as other donors, NGO’s, civil societies, private sector and local Governments to increase efficiency and maximize effectiveness of our common activities.
We commend UNICEF for productive informal briefings before the session. In our view, UNICEF Executive board should concentrate more on strategic guidance, priorities and oversight while avoiding micromanagement.
While focusing our attention to the current needs we must also assess and prepare for the future challenges.
To effectively tackle the negative effects of climate change, we must ensure maximum sustainability of the assistance provided.
The digital world and modern technologies open countless opportunities to increase quality and accessibility of education through new forms and tools, yet at the same time:
o We need to ensure adequate education for all children with an access to new technologies, leaving no one behind, thus helping them to acquire necessary skills to enter labor market.
o The huge and fast spread of use of electronic devices and social networks also increase the risk of mental health challenges related to online bullying, lack of social interaction and others, resulting in anxiety.
If we do not sufficiently address these issues today, the negative consequences of these problems will increase in the future.
The use of innovations and innovative solutions in healthcare, education, data collection and other areas can open new opportunities to substantially improve the effectiveness of UNICEF activities. We welcome the efforts by UNICEF, in collaboration with other UN Agencies, to support innovative solutions and scale up their use
This year in June, we will organize an international conference in Vilnius to address current and future challenges of the young generation.
New York, 11 February, 2020