Category

Funds and Programmes

HQ location

New York

Date established

December 11 1946

Resolution

GA Resolution 57 (I)

Leadership

Commissioner-General

The UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the General Assembly (GA res. 57 (I) (1946) to provide emergency assistance to children in war-ravaged countries following World War II. By GA res. 417 (V) (1950), the UN General Assembly charged it with addressing the needs of children in developing countries. GA res. 802 (VIII) (1953) extended UNICEF'S mandate indefinitely, with an emphasis on programmes giving long-term benefits to children everywhere, particularly those in developing countries, and changed the organization's name to the United Nations Children's Fund but retained the UNICEF acronym. The Fund also continued to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance in emergencies.

The priority areas for UNICEFs work are set out in UNICEF's medium-term strategic plan for 2006 to 2013. They are:

  • Young child survival and development
  • Basic education and gender equality
  • HIV/AIDS and children
  • Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse
  • Policy advocacy and partnerships for children's rights.

Through its extensive field network, UNICEF undertakes programmes in health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, the environment, child protection, gender issues and development, and other fields of importance to children in coordination with governments, local communities and other aid organisations in developing countries and territories.  UNICEF places emphasis on low-cost, community-based programmes, focusing on supporting children during critical periods of their life, when intervention can make a lasting difference.  Thirty-six National Committees for UNICEF, mostly in industrialised countries, support its work in raising funds and advocacy.

UNICEF reports through its Executive Board to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which in turn reports to the General Assembly. GA res. 48/162 (1993) decided the UNICEF Executive Board should be reconstituted to comprise 36 members (previously 41).  The Board is responsible for providing inter-govemmental support to, and monitoring of, UNICEF's activities, and for ensuring that UNICEF is responsive to the needs and priorities of recipient countries. It also approves UNICEF's policies, country programmes and budgets.

The specific functions of the Board are set out in Annex I of that resolution. The Board's work is coordinated by a bureau comprising one representative from each of the five regional groups of Member States. UNICEF's resources derive from voluntary contributions from governments, inter-governmental donors, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

GA res. 48/162 (1993) specified that membership of the Executive Board should be based on  equitable geographical representation and other relevant factors. It specified that members should come from each of the following UN regional groups: African states (eight), Asian states (seven), Eastern European states (four), Latin American and Caribbean states (five), and Western European and Other states (12). Board membership is normally for three years and expires on 31 December.

Bureau members of the UNICEF Executive Board in 2011 are:

President
Eastern European group..........................................Sanja Stiglic, Slovenia
 
Vice-Presidents
Africa group...........................................................Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Sudan
Asian group...........................................................Grata Werdaningtyas, Indonesia
Latin American and Caribbean group.......................Gillian Joseph, Antigua and Barbuda
Western European and Other group..........................Peter van der 'lliet, Netherlands

Board members

African states
Algeria
Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Congo
COte d'Ivoire
DR Congo
Djibouti
Egypt
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libyan AJ
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
Sudan
Swaziland
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
UR of Tanzania
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Asian states
Afghanistan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Bhutan
China
DPRK
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Lao PDR
Lebanon
Malaysia
Myanmar
Nepal
Oman
Pakistan
Philippines
Qatar
ROK
Sri Lanka
Thailand
UAE
Viet Nam
Yemen

Eastern European states
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bulgaria
Croatia
Czech Republic
Estonia
Hungary
Poland
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation
Serbia
Slovenia
Ukraine

Latin American and Caribbean states
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Bahamas
Barbados
Bolivia
BraziL
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Jamaica
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago
Uruguay
Venezuela

Western European and Other states (plus Japan)
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Gennany
Greece
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Luxembourg
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
UK
USA

 

The Board meets in one annual and two regular sessions a year, holding inter-sessional meetings as it deems necessary.  In 2011, the Executive Board's first regular session was held in New York from 8 to 11 February, and the annual session from 20 to 23 June 2011. 

The second regular session was scheduled to take place from 12 to 15 September. In conjunction with the scheduled Board meetings, joint meetings are also held with the UNICEF, UN Development Programme (UNDP)/UN Population Fund (UNFPA)/UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), UN Women and World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Boards.

UNICEF House
3 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Telephone: (+1 212) 326 7000
Fax: (+1 212) 888 7465/7454