13 September 2011
Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad, Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Second Executive Board Session of UNICEF
on the new country program of the I.R. Iran
(13 September 2011)Mr. President, I would like to thank Mm. Shahide acting regional deputy for Middle East and North Africa for presenting the new country programs for our region and in particular the new country program of the Islamic Republic of Iran. With more than sixty percent of the population under thirty years old, the I.R. Iran enjoys enormous opportunities in its development prospect in the coming years; which can be attributed to a young, educated and productive population. However, full realization of such potential needs a strong developmental approach and planning. The Fifth National Development Plan was developed with such an understanding and vision. While health care services and education have been extended to the most remote parts of the country, boys and girls’ full and equal access to education and health has been vigorously perused with remarkable results. We will continue our efforts to ensure that every child has access to a full range of quality educational and health services. The backbone of the national programs on children in coming years, beyond providing education and health, are reduction of child poverty; legal support for children against abuse and violence; improving maternal and new-born health, improvement of national capacity to collect, analyze and utilize data on children; preparedness against emergency situations and supporting children and adolescents in natural disasters; and promotion of regional cooperation in the context of south-south cooperation. We welcome the UNICEF’s support in making further progress in these areas. The new country program has developed to take advantage of knowledge, expertise and resources that UNICEF may offer. In our view, ensuring national ownership and leadership of the program countries is of utmost importance. We are very much pleased that in preparing the new country program close consultations and mutual understanding prevailed among the national authorities and the UNICEF office in Tehran. The established national steering committee provided the required platform for finalizing the new program through meaningful and inclusive consultations among several line ministries and the UNICEF office. The new county program entails many of the aforementioned national priorities and we, therefore, expect that the Board supports the program as presented. Thank you very much Mr. President.