Press release 102/2013
3 May 2013
Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake will visit Finland on 6–7 May 2013 and participate in the meeting of UNICEF National Committees, to be held in Helsinki. During his visit, Lake will meet President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala. In these meetings, topics of discussion will include post-2015 global development goals and the operations of UNICEF in crisis situations.
U.S. citizen Anthony Lake has been acting as Executive Director of UNICEF since May 2010. He has been a foreign policy advisor in U.S. Foreign Service, serving as National Security Advisor under U.S. President Bill Clinton and as foreign policy advisor for President Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.
This year, Finland chairs the Executive Board of UNICEF for the first time. During its chairmanship, Finland lays emphasis, for example, on inclusive teaching with an aim to ensure that all students are given an opportunity for equal progress in the same learning environments. Reducing inequality is a priority for both Finland and UNICEF.
Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, will visit the UNICEF school of Kartanonkoski at Vantaa on Monday 6 May, where he will talk about school bullying and adapting children in need of special support to normal teaching.
Elimination of inequality and the rights of children with disabilities in particular will also be discussed at the launch of the UNICEF Annual Report, State of the World’s Children, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 30 May.
UNICEF has played an important role in promotion of the Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015, particularly the ones related to children’s health and education. UNICEF is also a versatile and important humanitarian actor in the crisis areas of the world.
In humanitarian emergencies, the organisation is tasked especially with supporting children and young people’s health, nutrition, access to clean water and sanitation; promoting continuation of basic education for boys and girls; and protecting children from violence and exploitation.
At the moment, the largest UNICEF operations are underway in the crisis areas of Syria, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. UNICEF estimates that approximately one half of the 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance due to the crisis of Syria are children.
This year, the amount of general funding provided to UNICEF by the state of Finland is EUR 19.2 million. In addition, Finland supports UNICEF’s humanitarian operations on the basis of joint UN emergency appeal process. Last year the humanitarian assistance amounted to EUR 7.1 million.
Additional information: Heli Mikkola, Senior Officer, Unit for UN Development Issues, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 358 295 350 975; and Jussi Kivipuro, Director of Communications at UNICEF Finland, email@example.com, p. +358 40 7723 407