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Ban Hails Work Of UNICEF Chief

Ban Hails Work Of UNICEF Chief After She Announces Plan To Step Down

New York, Dec 23 2009 7:10PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to Ann Veneman, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), after she announced that she will not be seeking a second five-year term in the top post at the UN agency.

Mr. Ban learned “with great regret” that Ms. Veneman does not plan to pursue a second term next spring, the Secretary-General said in a statement issued this afternoon at UN Headquarters in New York.

Ms. Veneman, a former United States agriculture secretary who has been Executive Director since May 2005, will be leaving a legacy of “an organization that is financially and intellectually strong and well-equipped to meet the challenges children face in the 21st century,” according to the statement.

“She has fulfilled her mandate with immense dedication, and I have been impressed by her extraordinary energy and determination to improve children’s health, education and well-being around the world,” Mr. Ban said.

“Under her leadership, UNICEF has become a catalyst for global action to help children reach their full potential, promoting collaborations that deliver the best possible results for children based on expert knowledge, sound evidence and data.

“She has been a champion of UN coherence and a strong voice for children as well as MDG implementation,” Mr. Ban added, referring to the eight Millennium Development Goals – such as slashing poverty and hunger, improving maternal health and boosting environmental sustainability – which world leaders have agreed to strive to achieve by 2015.

ENDS

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