Two million child deaths averted
through the efforts of the Child Survival and Development
The momentum towards UCI/1990 accelerates, with all regions
reporting increased levels of activity. WHO estimates global
coverage for BCG, DPT and polio to be more than 50 per cent, while
measles coverage is
about 45 per cent.
Ninety-seven per cent of the children in the developing world live
in countries with operational programmes
to control diarrhoea! diseases (CDD).
By promoting CSDR, UNICEF encourages countries to move to
national scale in expanding low-cost approaches for reducing
mortality and improving child health and welfare on a broad front.
Adjustment with a human face
published as a
landmark study and prime example of UNICEF’s knowledge-based
advocacy prompting global debate on how to protect children and
women from the adverse affects of economic adjustment and reform.
UNICEF tries to show how low-cost CSDR approaches need to be
accompanied by economic and social actions to protect basic
human needs and a country's human resource potential while coping
with the economic crisis. Existing expenditures need to be
restructured towards low-cost interventions with high-effectiveness
impact, and other available but often under-utilized resources also
'Debt Relief for Child Survival' proposal is put forward:
i.e. converting part of the developing countries' foreign debt
to commercial banks and governments into national funds which can be
used locally by the debtor governments and UNICEF for CSD
Call for 'Grand Alliance for Children' uniting leaders and
institutions and organizations and other social structures as vital
allies with parents for child survival and development initiatives.
Efforts are expanded for child labour issues and children in
especially difficult circumstances that include street children,
children affected by armed conflict, by national disasters and
abused children. UNICEF offices in all regions step up their
advocacy, and often complex negotiations, for 'Zones of Peace' and
'Days of Tranquillity' to accelerate child survival and development
initiatives in war-torn areas.
Move to UNICEF HOUSE, the first independent NYHQ
premises, on 44th Street.
Establishment of International Child Development Centre (ICDC) at
Innocenti Hospice in Florence, Italy
Launch of "Change for Good" fund-raising.
Total contributions reached US$576 million.
The 'Bamako Initiative' is
launched by WHO and UNICEF, combining increased international
finance with domestic resource mobilization to achieve universal
primary health care (PHC) and maternal and child health care.
African nations will join forces to make low-cost bulk purchases and
then distribute them through community outlets. Prices to the
consumers will be much lower than present retail costs, but will
allow enough 'profit' to pay for their replenishment and to finance
the development of community and district health services.
(ICDC), later known as the Innocenti Research Centre (IRC)
established in Florence, Italy for policy analysis and applied
research and as a forum for international professional exchange of
experience; dissemination of research findings (with a focus on
child rights, child protection, economic policy and impact of
socio-economic policies on women, children and other vulnerable
Talloires Declaration on “Protecting the world’s children: an
agenda for the 1990’s” issued by the Task Force for Child
Survival (see above) at its third meeting in March. The Talloires
Declaration is the basis for the initial list of WHO/UNICEF common
goals for the health development of women and children by the year
2000 endorsed in 1989 by the UNICEF/WHO Joint Committee on Health
Policy as well as by the Executive Boards of both UNICEF and WHO.
The goals were later refined and expanded (with the addition of
goals for child protection and education) in the Talloires
Affirmation emanating from the forth Task Force meeting in Bangkok
(March 1990) and endorsed by the WSC (September 1990).
The momentum for CSD continues to accelerate
with the expansion of low-cost UCI and ORT programmes, and
UNICEF goes beyond traditional programme concerns to address the
fundamental issue of poverty. The momentum also highlights
the inadequacy of data bases and management information
systems without which it is difficult to measure progress or
regression, programme effectiveness or impact.
UNICEF proposes the idea of a 'Global Summit for Children' to
rally leaders from all points of the geographic, political and
economic compass, to a more
constructive economic dialogue 'for mutual survival'.
Child-related issues appear on the political agenda of
several major events during the year: President Ronald Reagan and
General-Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev called for an accelerated
effort to reduce childhood deaths at the conclusion of their May
Summit. The 25th Anniversary Summit of OAU in Addis Ababa in
May passed resolutions on African Child Survival and
Development, UCI, the Bamako Initiative and AIDS prevention.
A global trend towards operational linkages between education and
communication for CSD emerges in
many countries. The focus is on sustainability through strategies to
change behaviour and popularize CSD approaches,
All regions reported progress with child immunization in
1988, encouraging belief that the global target of 80 per
cent coverage by the end of next year could be achieved. Rapid gains
in the coverage levels of the 25 most populous developing nations
spurs optimism for UCI in 1990.
Because of increasing levels of immunization coverage an
estimated 1.9 million child deaths from measles, whooping cough and
neonatal tetanus are now being prevented each year. Improved
delivery of polio vaccines is sparing another 240,000 children each
year from the crippling effects of this disease.
Ninety-six countries now have operational
CDD programmes (control of diarrhoeal diseases) covering an
estimated 98 per cent of Third World
JNSP (WHO/UNICEF Joint Nutrition Programme) is in its fifth year of
operation. Experiences drawn from 18 country projects have
demonstrated that an explicit nutritional focus and monitoring
system must also exist in order to make a nutrition programme
UNICEF expands response to AIDS pandemic to other African
nations aside from Uganda.
The Executive Board approves policy and programme directions in AIDS
prevention, and approves special Aids prevention projects for
UN Peace-keeping Forces receive Nobel Peace Prize.
Total contributions reached US$711 million.
On 20 November,
after 10 years of negotiation, the 159 UN Member States
unanimously endorse the Convention on the Rights of the Child
(CRC), entering into force on 2 September 1990 – representing the
most rapid entry-into-force of any human rights treaty. The CRC sets
minimum standards of protection for children everywhere against
exploitation, abuse and neglect. UN Secretary-General Perez de
Cuellar announces World Summit for Children to be held at UN
Headquarters in September of 1990 as a follow-up.
Fall of Berlin Wall marks the end of the Cold War and opens
up new perspectives for development based on a hoped for ‘peace
dividend’ and leading to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union
(1991). This ushers in a period of transition in countries of the
CEE/CIS and Baltic states, opening up new perspectives for UNICEF
programmes in the region.
Strategies for Children in the 1990s (E/ICEF/1989/ L.5, 7
February 1989) discussed at the April 1989 Executive Board
meeting – the product of more than a year of consultations within
UNICEF and with UN partners – primarily WHO and others in the
international public health community. Quantifiable goals as
centrepiece of the document and of an attempt to apply ‘management
by objective’ ideas to the international agenda
World Summit for Children (WSC) formally proposed; given
green light and preparations get underway: Proposal put forward by
heads of state of the 6 ‘initiating’ countries (Canada, Egypt, Mali,
Mexico, Pakistan, Sweden) in November; SG Perez de Cuellar gives
permission for Summit to be held at UN HQ NY; and a Special meeting
of the UNICEF Executive Board is held (December) to discuss the
Formulation of strategies for 4th development decade underway
within the wider UN community, formally adopted by GA on 21 December
1990 (Res 45/199). UNICEF’s perspectives for children and
development were articulated within this wider framework, and
conceptualized as a clear contribution to the overall development
Immunization coverage increased from less than 10 per cent in 1980
to 70 per cent, saving at least two million under five-year-olds
each year. ORT prevented one million deaths of diarrhoeal
dehydration. Breast-feeding makes a spectacular comeback.
700 million people gain access to safe drinking water. 99 per
cent of the population in 112 countries have CDD programmes, and 60
per cent of the under-five population have access to ORT. New
programmes are launched for AIDS and ARI (acute respiratory
infections). The Board approves Guinea worm disease study and
national plans for eradication are developed.
UNICEF co-sponsors the international conference "The Implications
of AIDS on Mothers and Children" in Paris.
A significant social mobilization initiative, Facts for Life
is officially launched with WHO and UNESCO, highlighting messages in
10 areas of maternal and child health in print, video and radio. FFL
is integrated in every UNICEF region and involving NGOs governments
Interest in the Bamako Initiative expands beyond Africa into
Phase one of JNSP
ends. Conclusion is reached that there can be no pre-determined set
of interventions which will result in improved nutrition. Nutrition
programmes are more likely to succeed if there is a community-based
nutrition-system in place that mobilizes action and provides a tool
to monitor success.
The growing sustainability of community management in Water supply
and sanitation (WATSAN), the linkage with CDD programmes and a
trend towards greater cost-effectiveness at the field level leads to
overall improvement. UNICEF cooperates with 90 countries in WATSON
The girl-child become special focus of ROSA and Mena regions.
Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) is launched addressing the
needs of thousands of victims of flooding, drought, food shortages,
epidemics and prolonged conflict which had displaced a large segment
of the population, destroyed infrastructure and impeded relief
UNICEF Executive Director James Grant leads UN delegation in
Khartoum at a joint Government/UN high-level meeting in March and is
appointed by the Secretary-General as his Personal Representative
for OLS. "Corridors of tranquility" are opened so
that relief convoys can pass through contested territory.
Total contributions reached US$667 million.
Development goals and strategies
for children in the 1990s is articulated by UNICEF in A UNICEF
Policy Review (also E/ICEF/1990/L.5, 13 February 1990)
World Conference on Education for All, is held in Jomtien,
Thailand in March 5-9, 1990, organized by UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO and
the World Bank. The resulting World Declaration on Education for All
and Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs sets out
concrete goals and targets for education – elements of which were
incorporated into the WSC Plan of Action. UNICEF previous programme
cooperation in basic education had been mostly catalytic (with
emphasis on education for girls and women; early childhood
development, and non-formal education for those who cannot go to
school); but after World Conference and Summit, activities in many
countries have facilitated some reordering of priorities in country
programmes for the next cycle. Establishment of education for
development posts in NY and Geneva. Collaboration among sponsoring
agencies of EFA Conference strengthened, with all 4 agencies
agreeing to increase financial support for the principal Conference
“Bangkok Affirmation” issued by Child Survival Task Force at
its March 1-3 meeting in Thailand, recommends modification and
expansion of initial set of goals beyond the health sector in order
to include child rights and protection of children in especially
difficult circumstances, as well as the goals for education,
literacy and early child development endorsed by the World
Conference on Education for All.
Consultative group on child rights appointed by UNICEF
in 1990 to review and advise on policy matters, and to facilitate
ratification and implementation of convention (made up of Regional
Executive staff, divisional directors, ICDC, special advisors and
child rights section).
UNICEF Nutrition Strategy approved by the Executive Board in
April (Strategy for Improved Nutrition of Children and Women in
Developing Countries” E/ICEF/1990/L.6, March 1990). A dual focus on
the control of PEM and micronutrient deficiencies (iron, Iodine, and
Vitamin A) to be achieved through a strategy to empower households,
communities and managers at both district and national level to
implement improved nutrition through the Triple A method of
assessment, analysis and action. This in turn was based on a
conceptual framework of multiple causal levels of malnutrition, and
a recognition of the importance three elements of care, food and
health for improved nutrition.
Children’s Vaccine Initiative launched jointly by UNICEF and
WHO in September, as broad-based coalition of organizations and
scientists committed to improving children’s health through
development and sustainable delivery of existing and new vaccines.
The initiative was backed by CSD Task Force members Rockefeller
Foundation, UNDP, and the World Bank and the declaration of NY
strongly endorsed at the Summit.
World Summit for Children, UN, NY, Sept.29-30 starts a ten-year
campaign of progress for children. Galvanizes
world leaders around the cause of children and establishes concrete
end-decade goals for them to achieve: Adopts World
Declaration on Survival, Protection, Development of Children and a
Plan of Action for Implementing the Declaration, with 27 measurable
goals. Together these documents set forth a vision of a ‘first call’
for children. The Summit has been described as ‘the high point of a
four-decade effort by UNICEF to place children’s needs at the top of
the world’s agenda”. Leaders from 152 countries representing 99 per
cent of the world's population — 71 of them presidents, prime
ministers or kings, and 81 senior representatives and
plenipotentiaries — from North and South, East and West, took part.
By the year 2000 polio nearly eradicated, and around 75 per cent of
school-age children are completing a basic education.
Throughout the year, the international community moved steadily
towards a staggering achievement: immunization, by the end of
1990, of 80 per cent of the developing world's children against the
major child-killing and -crippling diseases. Just over 10 years
ago less than 15 per cent had the protection of vaccines, and about
five million children a year were dying from preventable diseases
and another 500,000 were being crippled by polio. Achieving the 1990
goal means that some 100 million infants are being reached with
vaccines four or five times during their first year of life — a
total of 500 million contacts every year between children and
organized delivery systems — now saving the lives of
about 8,000 children a day. That is 12million lives since the
campaign began and more than two and a half million young lives
saved in 1990 alone.
GA res 45.217 of 21 December 1990 welcomed adoption of World
Declaration and Plan of Action and urged all states and
international community to work for achievement of goals and
objectives endorsed therein.
Greenwich Consultation, December: A UNICEF HQ consultation
convened directly after the Summit to consider how UNICEF could take
fullest advantage of the unprecedented leverage on behalf of
children and – particularly – how UNICEF could provide both
leadership and support in helping partners, allies and constituents
work together to keep the promises of the Summit.
Innocenti Declaration on the protection, promotion and
support of breastfeeding issued – becomes basis for UNICEF
policy and action in 1991 - also adopted by WHO as operational
policy and strategy to support programmes for attainment of goals.
Board approves a priority focus on the girl child in all country
programmes. Decade of the Girl Child declared by SAARC (1990s).
Many national plans of action (NPAs) for children in the region
focus on gender-specific data collection and analysis.
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child adopted by
the OAU, coming into force on 29 November 1999.
Global consultation on CDD held in NY in April to discuss
trends and propose strategies as part of a larger effort to improve
and expand assistance to CDD.
UNICEF study of AIDS-related mortality among children in 10
seriously affected African countries concludes that between 1.4 and
2.7 million children will die from AIDS during the 1990s and
estimated there could be 3-5 million AIDS orphans in central and
east Africa alone by the year 2000. UNICEF AIDS prevention programme
working closely with WHO Global Programme on AIDS, focusing on
education and awareness studies of impact, and care for AIDS
4 celebrated UNICEF Goodwill ambassadors received special honours:
Liv Ullmann received UNICEF Distinguished service award after 19
years of service; Audrey Hepburn awarded Golden Globe Award in
Hollywood; Harry Belafonte received Nelson Mandela Courage Award;
and Sir Peter Ustinov became Knight of the British Empire.
Appointment of UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children
UNDP issues first Human Development Report – under Mahbub ul
Haq: Marks move towards greater integration of social concerns into
international development efforts, with such social concerns
highlighted in the strategy developed for the 4th UN Development
World Bank’s World Development Report takes poverty as its
Total contributions reached US$821 million.
Need to galvanize follow-up to WSC
spurs a year of unprecedented mobilization for children.
Announcement of UCI generates extensive media coverage; ICDC
publication on Children and the Transition to the Market Economy:
Safety Nets and Social Policies in Central and Eastern Europe
draws attention to the needs of children in this region, as UNICEF
begins operations in Romania ;
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is launched,
Hospitals and maternity centres around the world adopt “Ten Steps to
Successful breastfeeding” advocated by UNICEF and WHO. The 10 steps
underpin the BFHI to promote breastfeeding. By 2000, more than
15,000 hospitals and maternity centres in 136 countries had joined
the initiative and received certification as ‘baby-friendly’. The
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), created to mobilize
technical and human resources for implementation of the Innocenti
Declaration, becomes the focal point for NGO support of BFHI. By
2000, more than 15,000 hospitals and maternity centres in 136
countries have the joined the Initiative and become certified as
Action on micronutrients intensifies.
Build-up to Earth Summit generates environmental activity.
Grant’s challenge to media representatives is part of an effort to
broaden the support base for UNICEF in the broadcast industry and
sparked a move to hold an annual International Children's Day of
UNICEF also joined multi-million dollar project to strengthen TV
programming for children. Global Communication Support Fund,
approved by 1990 Executive Board, started activities in 1991. New emphasis
on use of public opinion polls to monitor and evaluate UNICEF
advocacy and education efforts.
Major new publication ‘First Call for Children’ launched as a
forum for UNICEF experience and advocacy.
An increasingly important aspect of UNICEF advocacy is collaboration
with political leaders and inter-governmental organizations and
UNICEF formulates plans and directives for WSC follow-up
including guidelines for the preparation of National Programmes of
Action (NPAs); instructions on the intended relationship between
UNICEF country programmes and NPAs; encouragement of inter-agency
cooperation in WSC follow-up; information on development of
strategies field-level monitoring of progress towards the goals; and
guidelines for the preparation of progress reports on WSC
Role of UNICEF in implementation of the CRC is set out, with
Board decision that UNICEF should continue to support CRC as an
integral part of its ongoing country programmes and global advocacy.
10-member Committee on the Rights of the Child is established to
monitor implementation of the Convention.
The State of the World’s Children 1991 tackles situation of
children in industrialized world for the first time.
UNICEF’s first experiments (in Sudan) with debt swapping for
children. By late 1995 UNICEF had carried out a number of such debt
conversions – mostly in Africa, Latin America, and one in
UCI goal announcement; UNICEF and WHO officially advise UN
Secretary-General de Cuellar in October that the UCI goal of 80%
immunization coverage reached. The success of the global
immunization programme gave new impetus to set new targets in WSC.
UCI+: Many nations are now using the infrastructure developed to
immunize their children for add-on services including vitamin A
supplements, iron supplementation and other prenatal services.
UNICEF launched vaccine independence initiative aimed at improving
national vaccine procurement capacity by using high quality,
low-cost vaccines through UNIPAC (reimbursable procurement).
First International Consultation on the Control of ARI (Acute
Respiratory Infection) co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP and WHO.
International policy conference on ‘Ending Hidden Hunger’ in
Montreal organized by the Child Survival and Development Task Force,
initiated by UNICEF and WHO, with co-sponsorship of FAO, UNDP, WB,
CIDA, and USAID. Lays groundwork for broad alliance of governments,
agencies, institutions and industries to accelerate action on
Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council established (in
response to UN res 45/181 of 3 December 1990) to provide global
coordination and a forum for discussion of sector issues and advance
the retargeted goals of the International Drinking Water and
sanitation decade. First meeting is held in September in Oslo and a
UNICEF/WHO joint monitoring programme was established to track
progress. Within UNICEF, the focus in WATSAN is shifting from
hardware to ‘software’; from vertical to intersectoral programmes;
and from technical to social concerns – with emphasis on people
behaviours, motivations, and management capacities.
Conference on humanitarian cease-fires; peacebuilding for
children held in Ottawa.
Follow-up to EFA: UNICEF Education cluster created in 1990,
with 5 senior advisers; 4-phase action framework developed to
promote EFA goals over the decade; with capacity-building within
UNICEF. Heads of the sponsoring Jomtien agencies – UNDP, UNESCO,
UNICEF and WB met on the first anniversary of the conference. UNICEF
and UNESCO signed a formal agreement for the development of
indicators to monitor EFA and the analysis and dissemination of
innovations in basic education. UNICEF also involved in African
Education Task Force.
UN Task Force on Disabled Children and Women established
under the direct auspices of UNICEF (at close of UN decade of
disabled persons – 1983-1992); reaffirms UNICEF commitments to
prevention; early detection/intervention; and community/family-based
rehabilitation. Task Force to be a sustainable implementing
mechanism for the remainder of the decade – to function on the model
of the task Force for Child Survival
Dramatic jump in UNICEF emergency assistance from 26
countries in 1990 to over 40 in 1991 (Africa, Asia, Latin America,
Middle east and CEE). Main focus the Persian Gulf crisis; but
other high profile natural and man-made emergencies. Also
participated in inter-agency and inter-governmental discussions on
improved coordination and response. In aftermath of Gulf War,
UNICEF designated, under the UN relief plan for Iraq, to be the lead
agency for humanitarian assistance in 3 northern governorates.
OAU Summit adopted landmark resolution on implementation of the
African Decade for Child Survival, Protection and Development and
confirmed 16 June as the Day of the African child
An expanding ‘grand alliance’:
• 85th Interparliamentary Union conference adopted resolution for
ratification of CRC and adoption of WSC goals; Religious leaders
participating in pre-summit support conference-‘The World’s
religions for the World’s Children’ in July 1990 - reaffirmed
commitment in 1991 at the World Conference on Religion and Peace,
in Italy in June.
• Mayors becoming active partners in Grand Alliance for
survival, protection and development – with global launch being
prepared for Dakar in January 1992 (honorary committee included
mayors of Dakar, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Riaydh, Rome and the
governor of Tokyo).
• NGO forum in Kadoma, Zimbabwe one of several major meetings in
1991 focusing on Summit goals and priority support for Africa –
resulting Kadoma Declaration affirmed NGO commitment to WSC,
CRC, and OAU Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child.
Major humanitarian and development NGOs – with final report of
meeting to be distributed as a mobilization booklet (‘World Summit
for Children: Moving from Words to Actions’) to 600 NGOs that signed
the joint NGO Summit statement in 1990. See also write-up on National Committees.
International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour
(IPEC) launched by ILO (with backing from Germany) as direct
follow-up to Summit.
Total contributions reached US$807 million.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt)
takes office as
Secretary- General of UN, serving until December 1996.
Multi-donor evaluation of UNICEF
identifies four key strategic thrusts of UNICEF programmes: service
delivery, capacity-building, social mobilization and empowerment,
noting the importance of a strategic mix for the most effective
Launch of first International Children’s Day of Broadcasting,
created by UNICEF and partners in broadcasting to promote
high-quality radio and television programming both for and with
children. By 2000, more than 2,000 media organizations were
participating in this annual event, including Universal Studios,
Sesame Workshop and Brazil's TV Cultura, which helps maintain a high
profile for children’s issues. Children in countries around the
world take to the airwaves as producers, reports and technical
UN Conference on Environment and Development (The Earth Summit)
held in Rio de Janeiro, from 3-14 June, 20 years after the first
Global environment conference, as the climax of a process begun in
December 1989 of negotiations leading to adoption of Agenda 21 as a
wide-ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable
development. The Rio conference endorsed the Summit goals,
affirming their validity within Agenda 21. Children’s interests
were to be taken into account – in participatory processes for
sustainable development and environmental improvement. In
preparations for the Earth Summit and with WSC emphasis on
environment, UNICEF had reviewed its environment strategy and
prepared studies for advocacy and policy guidance. Emphasis was to
be placed on linkages between child-related concerns, sustainable
development and the environment, promoting the concept of primary
environmental care (PEC) – an approach that already informed many of
UNICEF community initiatives. PEC emphasized the need for basic
services (including urban basic services); a healthy physical
environment; community participation and the empowerment of
communities with knowledge and information. It also promoted the
environmental components of CSD; environmental education; and
integrated approach to water and sanitation.
BFHI: UNICEF and WHO launch a major drive on BFHI as a means
of attaining the objectives of the Innocenti Declaration of 1990 on
the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and the WSC
goal. Involves appointment of national coordinators; hospital based
initiations; application of the Code; and enactment on laws to
protect breastfeeding rights of working women. First World Forum on
Breastfeeding held in Bangkok by the World Alliance, and Cracking
the Code published.
Launch of UNICEF’s International Child Development Centre (ICDC)
MONEE project to monitor the effects of transition in the CEE/CIS
and Baltic states region on women, children and youths and
vulnerable groups, with regular reports beginning in 1993. At same
time, UNICEF starts to strengthen and expand presence in countries
in the region.
International Conference on Assistance to African Children,
co-sponsored by UNICEF and OAU in Dakar, Senegal to solicit new
international resources and energize national political will behind
policy reorientation towards children and women – also as a spur to
development of NPAs with hoped-for funding of activities by donors.
Adopted Consensus of Dakar, recommitting to year 2000 global goals,
and agreeing to a number of intermediate health and nutritional
goals by mid-decade. Helped catalyze NPA development`. Part and
parcel of UNICEF’s approach to the needs of children in developing
countries has been advocacy for substantial debt relief –
forgiveness where possible and innovative debt swaps for CSD
activities (estimated cost of meeting the 27 goals an additional $20
billion per year over the decade.
International Conference on Nutrition (December, Rome):
Annexed to its conference declaration the list of goals endorsed at
the WSC, adding a new goal on the elimination of famine, and
committing governments to preparation of national plans of action
coordinated, as appropriate, with WSC follow-up.
Data collection, analysis and use further strengthened: New
method of estimating IMR and U5MR developed; UNICEF for first time
publishes a regional SOWC (in Latin America)
Joint UNICEF WHO consultative group – focus on strengthening
integrated primary health care services– particularly at
district level – building on success of EPI, multiplying contacts
with health services; and Bamako Initiative.
‘Mayors Defenders of Children’ Initiative launched by
International Colloquium of Mayors in Dakar, with participating
mayors adopting summit goals
International Conference on Water and Environment (Ireland)
adopts guiding principles for advance of water and sanitation goals.
Total contributions reached US$938 million.
Twenty-five years after UNICEF and WHO
first introduced oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in 1968, one
million children in developing countries are being saved each year
by this simple solution of sugar, salt and water to treat diarrhoeal
UNICEF calls for total ban on the production,
stockpiling, sale, export and use of land-mines. The UN General
Assembly approves four resolutions on land-mines at its 1993 regular
session. The toll on children by these hidden horrors long
after wars have ended mounts.
UNICEF calls for urgent action to contain and reverse the
vicious cycle of poverty, high population growth and environmental
degradation, the PPE spiral.
Mid-decade goals, emerging from
a series of regional meetings including those organized by OAU,
SAARC (Southeast Asia Association Regional Conference), League of
Arab States, East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation, adopted
at round table meeting in NY, endorsed by UNICEF Executive Board in 1993 .
Round-table meeting on ‘Keeping the Promise to Children’ held
in NY in September on the 3rd anniversary of the Summit (heads of
state or governments, ministers and representatives of 77 countries
and many UN agencies reiterated commitment to goals and adopted 10
mid-decade goals selected as stepping-stones towards achievement of
the year 2000 goals.
Funding strategy conceived: 20/20 concept - achieving
universal access to basic social services - and endorsed at WSSD. A
compact between developing and industrialized countries, 20/20 calls
for the allocation of, on average, 20 per cent of the budget in
developing countries and 20 per cent of official development
assistance (ODA) to these basic social services. It also aims to
ensure that these resources are used with greater efficiency and
First issue of UNICEF flagship publication The Progress of
Nations intended as a global annual “report card” on achievement
of the goals. States that a nation's progress should be measured by
the well-being of its people, rather than by the size of its gross
national product (GNP) or military might.
World Bank annual World Development Report focuses on
World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna from 14-15
June, endorses the WSC mid-decade goal of universal ratification by
1995 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as its
founding principle that economic, social and cultural rights are
inseparable from civil and political rights.
UNICEF focuses on the 'silent emergencies' that claim 35,000
child lives every day, as opposed to the 'loud emergencies'
created by natural disasters and armed conflict.
Issues related to children and armed conflict receive growing
UNICEF's reputation for effective delivery in the field, from relief
to rehabilitation, places the organization in the forefront of
global efforts to meet the needs of families in emergency
situations in Europe and Africa.
42 million people are driven from their homes by military conflict,
but only 18 million considered refugees and eligible for
international assistance, the remainder 'displaced.' UNICEF
seeks to address the issue so that no child suffer this
15,000 children's lives are claimed by ethnic cleansing in the
former Yugoslavia over a three-year period and 600,000 children are
refugees. To help them overcome their trauma, children in dozens of
schools and refugee camps are asked to express their feelings in
words and drawings. The children's yearning amid death and
destruction is poignantly captured in the book I Dream
of Peace, commercially published in 1994 for greater
UNICEF responds to situations of increasing complexity that strain
resources and place staff at great risk. Three UNICEF staff members
are killed in the line of duty.
UNICEF emergency handbook revised, with a view to integrating
emergency preparedness more fully into country programming.
GA calls on SG to prepare report on children in armed conflict;
Machel study started in 1994; resulting in 1996 report.
Tarzie Vittachi, UNICEF publishes “Between the Guns: Children as a
Zone of Peace”.
On the occasion of Human Rights day, GA awarded one of the annual
human rights prizes to Grant for his work in child survival,
development and rights over the past two decades; issue of Child
Neglect in Right Nations addressed for the first time; internal
UNICEF consultative group on rights identifies need to link
CRC/CEDAW; intensify advocacy against sexual exploitation,
UNICEF to become more vocal in situations of flagrant violations).
UNICEF revises its urban policy to emphasize mid-decade goals and
public participation – focuses on poverty reduction, PEC,
rehabilitation and prevention approaches for urban children in
especially difficult circumstances (CEDC); advocacy
and technical plans. Mayors an important part, with municipal plans
Education for all Summit, hosted in India
(UNICEF/UNESCO/UNFPA) to rally political commitment of leaders from
9 high population countries.
Women’s empowerment and equality (WEEF) framework developed by
UNICEF for gender training.
Total contributions reached US$866 million.
Rwandese are massacred in ethnic uprising of mass
genocide and 5 million
people flee to safe havens. 14 UNICEF national staff lose their
lives. UNICEF raises US$58.7 million for the children of Rwanda,
just a tiny fraction of what is needed. UNICEF is designated as
the lead UN Agency to protect some 114,000 unaccompanied
children separated from family. Thousands of photos are
distributed of these 'lost' children in camps and neighboring
countries. Helps maintain schooling in refugee camps and displaced
persons settlements by paying teachers' salaries and delivering
education materials. Mine sweepers declare safe areas and schools.
A massive cholera epidemic plagues Rwandan refugees in Zaire.
In Liberia, UNICEF-assisted programmes support
orphanages, women and girl victims of abuse and provide
counselling to former child soldiers.
Fighting intensifies in Angola, 400,000 children under
five and 490,000 women of child-bearing age are vaccinated against
measles and tetanus.
Violence returns to Somalia hindering humanitarian assistance after
withdrawal of foreign forces. UNICEF continues to support efforts to
reach the most vulnerable, and provides vaccines, foods, nutritional
supplements and educational programmes. Emergency supplies are
pre-positioned in the event of further civil conflict. Outbreak of
cholera epidemic lasts for five months.
UNICEF distributes 82,000 materials to Croatian school children
as well as videos and 150,000 flyers about land-mines planted in
their communities. UNICEF focuses on emergency needs in UN Protected
Areas and near the front line and to refugees and displaced persons
and the supply of essential drugs.
Human rights abuses aimed at women and children continue in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, the general collapse of the economy
severely restricts all access to social services. UNICEF
concentrates on health, expanded programme of immunization (EPI),
nutrition, WATSAN, education, care for children in especially
difficult circumstances. Winter clothing is provided for 20,000
UNICEF supplies the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with
paediatric drugs, vaccines, supplementary food, winter clothing and
blankets, school supplies and textbooks, and technical assistance
and training for health workers, teachers, school psychologists and
UNICEF coordinates water supplies and sanitation and education
programmes in Afghanistan.
UNICEF campaigns for the demobilization of child soldiers
and raises awareness of disproportionate impact of trade
sanctions on children and women in Haiti and Iraq.
South Africa holds its first democratic elections.
UNICEF Management Study,
Booz-Allen-&Hamilton Inc. (New York, NY, Dec. 30, 1994). (requested
by Executive Board in 1993) Four final documents include: UNICEF
Management Study; Executive Summary; Management Study Workshops
Report; Delphi Panel Report: constituting the report of a management
review requested by UNICEF’s Executive Board in March 1994. On the
basis of its findings, UNICEF follow-up takes the form of the
management excellence programme.
International Year of the Family observed. UNICEF considers
the family the 'smallest democracy at the heart of society'.
Attention is given to the often ignored role of fathers in family
life and parenting.
A low-cost, fast and reliable household survey system is introduced
to help assess countries' progress towards a achieving the World
Summit for Children goals called
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).
International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),
Cairo, September 1994 adopts a programme of action that builds on
the outcome of other global conferences, including the WSC,
underscoring the linkages between development and population,
focusing on reproductive rights and people-centred services. It
recognizes that efforts to slow population growth, eliminate gender
inequality, reduce poverty, achieve economic progress and protect
the environment are mutually reinforcing. Prevention of maternal
mortality and morbidity has been a primary focus of
UNICEF-supported activities related to ICPD follow-up, focusing on
increasing the age of marriage or first pregnancy among adolescent
and young women; improving health and nutrition of girls and women;
and improving the care and services available to pregnant women.
UNICEF follow-up on Safe Motherhood included support for
inter-agency working groups tracking child and maternal mortality;
women’s empowerment; reproductive health and education; elaboration
of programme guidelines for elimination of Female Genital
Mutilation (FGM). UNICEF follow-up on Safe Motherhood includes
support for inter-agency working groups tracking child and maternal
mortality; women’s empowerment; reproductive health and education;
and the elaboration of programme guidelines for the elimination of
Support to war-affected youth programme (SWAY) begins in 7
West African countries, with funding from UNICEF and USAID.
Separate item on children’s rights included for the first time on
the agenda of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural),
with resolutions on the CRC, children affected by armed conflict
(CAC), street children, and the sale of children, child prostitution
and pornography. Resolution asked UNICEF to be more active in
providing information and reports. In his final public speech, Grant
spoke on need for special protection issues – child labour,
trafficking, sexual exploitation, within CEDC and called on
universal ratification of the CRC by 1995 – followed by a telephone
call to Clinton seeking US signature. With universal ratification
close at hand, the consultative group on child rights established at
UNICEF HQ in 1990 shifted focus from promotion of ratification
towards specific protection issues, including revisions of policy
and programme guidelines to address child labour, prostitution and
other flagrant child rights violations. CRC a rallying point for
programmes addressing the needs of children in especially difficult
Intensive follow-up on WSC continues: Between 1990 and the
end of 1994. 0ver 100 meetings with presidents and prime ministers
to promote summit goals are held.
UN Girls’ Education Initiative in Africa launched, led by
UNICEF and implemented with partners in more than 60 countries as a
major step forward toward achieving the goal of education for all.
Since the Summit, more than 100 developing nations, with over 90 per
cent of the developing world's children, manage to reduce crippling
effects of malnutrition and to roll back child death rates. Some 2.5
million fewer children will die in 1996 than in 1990, and 750,000
will be spared mental retardation, blindness and the consequences of
malnutrition. Still, some 13 million die in 1994 for lack of
immunization, oral rehydration and affordable interventions. The
20/20 initiative intensifies to redress government minimal spending
on basic social services. UNICEF continues to focus on the 'silent
emergencies' and long-term needs of children.
By year's end more than 120 developing countries drafted national
programmes of action to achieve their World Summit goals for
children, and more than 160 Heads of State or Government signed the
Joint UNICEF/WHO strategy to combat Vitamin A deficiency (VAD)
endorsed by joint UNICEF/WHO committee on health policy
US becomes last of 178 of World Health Assembly to endorse 1981
International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes,
ending 13 years of opposition.
Global consultation on water and environmental sanitation,
Bangalore, India, agrees that more emphasis is to be placed on the
health and development aspects and to be linked to environmental
protection. Focus on empowerment of communities (particularly
women); capacity-building; intersectoral linkages; hygiene
education. Primary environmental care programmes aim to reduce
household work and exploit alternative energy sources.
1994 Year of the Family preparations: UNICEF considers the
family “the smallest democracy at the heart of society” which needs
Death of UNICEF Executive Director
Jim Grant, January 1995; Richard Jolly appointed by
Boutros-Ghali as Acting Executive Director; appointment of Carol
Bellamy in May.
Extreme poverty and the violation of children's human rights
continue to kill over 12 million children each year, three quarters
of them from preventabl causes. One hundred and forty-three million
children still do not attend school. UNICEF prepares to renew its
commitment to put children first on the world's agenda, under the
slogan 'Children First' for its 50th anniversary in 1996.
Serious drought causes severe shortage of drinking water as
well as disease outbreaks in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. UNICEF contributes towards relief efforts.
Great Lakes region (Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire)
harbours over 2.5 million refugees from Burundi and Rwanda.
Conflicts in Somalia hamper UNICEF efforts, and civil war continues
Devastating impact of AIDS pandemic spreads throughout Africa.
Child mortality rates rise. Aid programmes generally lack sufficient
political support and resources. UNICEF in partnership with
the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) work with national
statistical agencies to incorporate social indicators and together
publish the Atlas of the African Child.
UNICEF introduces gender development index in 1995 as a means
of consolidating statistical data on social developments affecting
women, and used in preparation for the Beijing Fourth Conferenc on
Urbanization increases in West and Central Africa. UNICEF
intensifies advocacy for special protection of neglected and abused
children, focusing particularly on child workers, child prostitutes,
street children, young girls working as domestic servants and boys
forced into begging. 20 per cent of children in Africa work, and the
number rises because of increased poverty, population growth and
failure of schools to meet basic education.
Performance for mid-decade goals mixed with only 45 per cent average
Middle East and North Africa make progress towards mid-decade
goals. Agreements with groups in southern Sudan enable UNICEF
to maintain child protection services. UNICEF collaboration
with OAU, The League of Arab States and individual governments helps
generate a greater commitment to children's needs. More than half of
the MENARO countries meet the goals of immunization, neonatal
tetanus, measles, polio and water supply. Almost half meet the ORT
and sanitation goals.
East Asia and the Pacific maintain strong overall record of
economic growth and human development. Just 16 per cent of the rural
population now live in absolute poverty, the lowest rate in the
developing world, and more than 95 per cent of school age children
enroll in primary school.
A quarter of the world's children live in South Asia, with 37
million new births per year. 3.5 million under-fives die from
poverty. The main obstacles to child survival and development --
malnutrition, poor sanitation and hygiene -- are not simple fixes.
UNICEF works towards reducing maternal mortality rates.
Child labour become a major UNICEF focus with tens of
millions of children employed, many in exploitative and dangerous
Poverty increases in Latin America and the Caribbean but
progress is still made towards mid-decade goals. Education goal
achieved regionally, neonatal tetanus eliminated. Three quarters of
the countries reach the immunization goal for DPT, polio and
measles, and a large majority of countries iodize all salt supplies.
Many make significant progress for Vitamin A fortification.
Social and economic turmoil in much of Central and Eastern
Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic States
continues hampering progress towards the mid-decade goals.
Diptheria epidemic spreads beyond the CIS as UNICEF works with WHO
on emergency interventions. Polio however is in the decline.
Save havens in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia cause
thousands to flee. Accelerated rehabilitation efforts get underway
after the Dayton accords.
Level of conflict in the world explodes in 1990s. UNICEF and
partners provide emergency needs of civilians while continuing to
attempt to foster long-term development. When conflict erupts,
threatening to derail UNICEF's work, the challenge is to adapt to
changed circumstances in order to maintain programme priorities.
UNICEF spends 25 per cent of its total programme expenditures on the
needs of women and children in 21 countries torn by armed conflict
and 10 affected by natural disasters. Six UNICEF staff members lose
the lives in the line oif duty in Africa. UNICEF focuses on
monitoring and evaluation of fragile situations, development of
local capacity to cope with emergencies, child survival, protection
and development and physical and psychological rehabilitation of
Pollution in the Aral Sea create disaster in Kazakstan, Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan leading to skin diseases, acute respiratory
infections and pollution-driven health problems. UNICEF, WHO and
partners launch the Aral Sea Project for Environmental and
Abuse of alchohol, tobacco and drugs leads to doubling of diseases
among newborns in the Russian Federation. A 1995 state decree
specifying World Summit and country-specific goals to be achieved by
2000. 84 regions and republics can now apply for funding from
their own goverments.
CRC is ratified by 185 countries, just short of 8 for
universal ratification, and surpasses the record for any other human
Launch of Management Excellence Programme (in response to
Management Review). The programme was designed to clarify UNICEF’s
mission; enhance its capacity for renewal to ensure future
effectiveness in response to rapid external changes; strengthen
accountability at all levels of the organization; institutionalize
the best management practices and standards of behavior for all
UNICEF staff; make systems improvements to support oversight and
Preparations for mid-decade review underway:
• 1995 Mid-Decade Goals reader, issued by UNICEF, 5 August
1994 (as collaborative efforts by PD, DOP, with specific involvement
of the advisory clusters and training and staff development section,
Child rights section, DPA and publications section (DOI);
• A number of global assessments/reports/study papers, including on:
NPAs; sustainability of the goals and links between CRC and NPAs.
Consultation on UNICEF programme priorities to year 2000 and beyond
helps establish corporate priorities for the future. A process of
programme policy review and revision underway.
Revision of UNICEF health strategy: continued emphasis on the
reduction of child illness and death (through immunization,
breastfeeding, nutrition, and sound illness management); greater
stress on protection of children in the 2nd decade of life and on
reproductive health; a sharpened focus on the needs of
adolescents aligns UNICEF health policy more closely with the
Convention and recognizes that the health, attitudes and behaviours
of teenagers profoundly affects their capacities as adults. New
emphasis on maternal mortality.
World Summit for Social Development (WSSD), Copenhagen,
March 1995 representing a landmark shift by governments to support
policies that promote a people-centred framework for social
development and justice, with a focus on the eradication of
poverty, expansion of productive employment, and promotion of social
integration, resulting in Copenhagen Declaration on Social
Development and Programme of Action endorsed by over 180 leaders.
Among the 10 key commitments endorsed at the summit, a number are
directly related to UNICEF’s concerns, including promotion of gender
equality and promotion of universal and equitable access to quality
education and health care, rectifying inequities affecting women,
children and vulnerable social groups. Other commitments were
also central to UNICEF’s advocacy efforts at the time, such as
commitment for greater and more efficient allocation of resources to
social development; a focus on social dimensions of structural
adjustment programmes; and heightened international cooperation.
ECOSOC underscores strong linkages and common themes among
programmes of action emanating from global conferences and stresses
need for coordinated/integrated follow-up.
For WSSD, ACC established 4 task forces in basic services; creation
of enabling environment for development; advancement of women;
sustainable livelihoods, with UNICEF participation in the basic
social services task force. A key aspect of UNICEF support for
follow-up to the WSSD is the 20/20 initiative, for which UNICEF
is the lead agency within the UN system. 20/20 initiative, developed
under the auspices of UNDP was strongly promoted during the Summit
by UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and a number of NGOs. UNICEF
issued Profiles in Success, detailing social progress
achieved by countries through appropriately-targeted human
Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, 4-15 September
1995, renews global commitment to uphold the rights of women,
focusing on cross-cutting concerns for equality, development and
peace, and resulting in a Platform of Action specific actions
and targets aimed at enhancing the social, economic and political
empowerment of women, improving their health and access to relevant
education, and promoting reproductive rights. Twelve critical areas
for action served as the basis for the Platform of action, including
women in relation to; poverty; education; health; violence;
conflict; economic participation; power and decision-making;
institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women; awareness of
and commitment to women’s human rights; mass media; environment; and
the girl child. Advances include insistence on women’s rights as
human rights; call to review laws on illegal abortion; key focus on
the family; closer look at culture and religion as means of
realizing potential of both men and women, and recognition of rape
as a war crime. ACC Inter-agency Committee on women and gender
equality was thereafter established. UNICEF lobbied successfully for
inclusion of girl child on the broader agenda, and articulated 3
priority areas endorsed by the Executive Board for its own
programmatic follow-up in implementation of the Platform of Action.
These included: girls’ education, the health of girls, adolescent
girls and women; and children and women’s rights, with action in the
field often complementing follow-up to other conferences (ICPD;
WSSD). A renewed emphasis within UNICEF on gender mainstreaming
in programme processes was built around lifecycle perspective, with
heightened advocacy for CEDAW based on the complementarity between
children’s rights and women’s rights. Gender training within UNICEF
continues as a priority.
New approach to estimating maternal mortality developed by Johns
Hopkins/WHO/UNICEF and published in the 1996 PON, in a powerful
and hard-hitting focus on maternal mortality and morbidity. The new
estimates provoke wide debate and discussion on the issue of
maternal mortality, leading increased awareness and renewed efforts.
Joint WHO/UNICEF document on “Action for children affected by AIDS:
Programming profiles and lessons learned”.
Facts for Life: Lessons from experience: Documents
experiences with FFL around the world, with enthusiastic suggestions
to extend scope to attain a wider and younger readership and to
strengthen link between knowledge transmission and positive
Animation for Development consortium.
Beginning of extensive review of collaboration with NGOs – to
be completed in 1996. Recommendations from a series of joint
UNICEF/NGO workshops as a basis for new cooperation strategies to
better reflect the growing strength of NGOs over the last 10 years
(growing in numbers and influence and power – becoming articulate
voice for promoting child rights, particularly in ratifying and
implementing CRC and achieving goals).
Child Rights Information network (CRIN) launched, linking UN
agencies, academic institutions, NGOs to gather and other
information on child rights activities globally. UNICEF worked with
the NGO group for CRC which published the guide and helped identify
agencies for the CRIN network.
UNICEF supported GA in development and adoption of omnibus
resolution on the rights of the child – also a resolution on the
girl child for Beijing follow-up; 1995 session of GA requests SG, in
cooperation with ILO, UNICEF and others to report on child labour
issues and initiatives.
World Conference on Religions and Peace, supported by UNICEF,
established two committees in support of children:
Inter-religious leadership council for children (advocacy); and
Children’s Action committee (relief and development programmes).
Narino Accord, signed by 28 governments of the Americas,
reaffirming WSC commitments and MDGs and identifying new areas of
concern, including early pregnancy, disabilities and civil rights.
Convention now regarded in the region as the basic framework for
developing social policies concerning women.
UNICEF champions the 20/20 Initiative to help reduce poverty,
which encourages developing and donor nations to allocate 20 per
cent of their budgets and development assistance, respectively, to
basic social services.
UNICEF's 50th anniversary year.
Children's survival rates are twice those of 1946. Immunization
rates, covering 15 per cent of children or less in many parts of the
world just over a decade ago, now average 80 per cent worldwide, and
some countries have rates of 90 per cent and higher. In developing
countries, approximately 82 per cent of all children old enough for
primary school are now enrolled. In most regions, enrollment
rates are 30 percentage points higher than the 1960s.
The legal impact of the CRC is being felt in many countries. The
Convention has helped shaped constitutions in Angola, Brazil,
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa as well as major
legislation affecting children in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras,
Jordan, Nepal and Tunisia. The Convention also propels progress in
children's nutrition, in strengthening local health systems and in
efforts to enroll and keep more girls in school.
Mid-decade Review: Extensive
efforts were made to review progress towards the WSC goals at
mid-decade and to draw lessons learned. UNICEF, in collaboration
with others, developed the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)
and supported training for its application in the field, leading to
a significant improvement in data collection and analysis (60
countries implemented stand-along MICS; 40 others used DHS or MICS
modules in other surveys). National mid-decade reviews were
carried out in some 98 countries. The UNICEF-WHO Joint Committee
on Health Policy Special Session, Geneva, May 1996 makes a joint
review of progress on health-related goals at mid-decade and
preparation for the year 2000 . The SG reports to 51st session of GA
on progress towards mid-decade and end-decade goals (A/51/256). The
review at mid-decade, para 299, stressed that the Assembly should
consider holding a special session to examine how far the world’s
nations have managed to fulfil their promises to children and
implement the Declaration and Plan of Action of the World Summit. GA
welcomes report and decides (in res 51/186, 16 December 1996) to
convene a Special Session in 2001 to review achievements at
Children’s participation: UNICEF supported 1st mini summit of
children during OAU summit – with 100 children from 10 countries in
conflict submitting suggestions; Youth/Children Opinion Polls
later pioneered in Latin America. Also, a referendum in Colombia
with 2 million children voting on rights and peace, organized by
UNICEF, the NGO network for peace, and other organizations. UNICEF
launches “Voices of Youth” website (www.unicef.org/voy) as
interactive site where young people from around the world can
exchange views on a variety of topics.
Adoption of UNICEF Mission Statement (issued as part of
management reform process – also as a means of taking stock after 50
years of what has been accomplished, where we are today, and what we
must do, with “development of mission statement to remind the world
what we stand for”, adopted by Executive Board in January 1996.
UNICEF, redefining its mission after 50 years of operation and
drawing on lessons learned. Confirms the centrality of the CRC.
Point is “CRC holds perhaps the greatest potential for positive
changes for children, reflecting a watershed in the way the world
looks at children – from objects to subjects of law”. Now that the
Convention ratified by almost all countries in the world, UNICEF can
turn towards its application as the ‘spearhead’ (fer de lance) of
programmes. Adopting a rights based approach considerably
transforms programming strategies. “With the satisfaction of
basic needs considered as a fundamental right for each child, UNICEF
has adopted a more integrated approach to satisfy these needs,
taking into consideration the full range of rights guaranteed by the
Convention”. The goals and objectives covering the basic sectors –
improving access to basic social services – represents the most
tangible and effective strategy to break the vicious circle of
poverty, over-population and environmental degradation. The MDR
showed the need to redouble efforts to achieve the goals. UNICEF
Executive Board adopts CRC as programmatic framework for all UNICEF actions.
50th anniversary of UNICEF: occasion for numerous activities to
promote children’s cause, around the world, under slogan ‘Children
World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of
Children, the first-ever international gathering
dedicated to combating this problem, held in Stockholm from 27 to 31
August 1996, hosted by the Government of Sweden and co-sponsored by
the End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT) and the NGO
Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, raised
awareness and resulted in a number of initiatives, including
establishment of a global NGO support group and enhanced cooperation
with the UN, including through the Special Rapporteur and the
Committee on the Rights of the Child. A total of 1,880 participants
attended the Congress, comprising 718 government representatives
from 120 countries, 100 delegates from UN and other
intergovernmental agencies, 470 NGO representatives, 47 delegates
from youth organizations and the organizing bodies, and 540
journalists from all over the world. As UNICEF Executive Director
reported to Board in 1996 (E/ICEF/1996/12/Rev.1) this mix of people
reflected not only the wide reach of the problem of commercial
exploitation of children, but also the dynamics of the solutions.
Public awareness-raising, mobilization, networking and international
cooperation will underpin the future of the work in this area. Many
UNICEF programmes were already part of the gamut of activities
necessary to reduce vulnerability in this area. Board members saw
UNICEF support in this area as a key component of activities related
to child protection measures specified in the CRC and they endorsed
UNICEF focus on prevention, including a special emphasis on
Launch and presentation to the GA of ground-breaking Graca Machel
study on ‘The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children”, with UNICEF
support, after an unprecedented survey of over 2 years involving an
international team, traveling to 8 conflict zones, with regional
consultations and consultations with child victims. GA adopts
resolution A/RES/51/77 on respect for child rights, demobilization
of child soldiers, elimination of land mines, halt to sexual
violence and exploitation, physical and psychological healing and
reintegration. Also foresaw the creation of the post of Special
Representative for children and armed conflict, asking UNICEF, along
with the Centre for Human Rights and UNHCR, to support his work.
Also called on UNICEF to use the report as a framework for future
UNICEF announces its ‘anti-war agenda’ in The State of the
World’s Children 1996, setting out a set of concrete measures to
alleviate the impact of warfare on children, in line with the
recommendations of the Machel study. SOWC traces shift in UNICEF
focus from emergency relief to long-term development and charted the
ongoing struggle to place children at top of the agenda: “To an
organization born among the detritus of war, it sometimes seems as
if the historical wheel has come full circle.”
Creation of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
to coordinate research and action on the epidemic,
of which UNICEF is a part, and expansion of UNICEF programmes in
AIDS awareness and prevention, providing assistance to children and
families. UNICEF had started to address AIDS in
the mid-80s, with a focus on prevention and care, as well as
behavioural causes. UNICEF priorities in participation in UNAIDS
focus on limiting transmission; fostering responsible behaviour
based on precise information; improving health and reproductive
health services; protecting children against sexual exploitation;
MTCT; support to orphans and families. Joint UNICEF/UNAIDS
publication “Children and families affected by AIDS; Guidelines for
action”. UNICEF concern for AIDS back in late 80s; most consistent
programme development since 1992 (youth health and development;
sexual and reproductive health; family and community care;
school-based interventions; mass communications and mobilization).
By 2000, UNICEF-supported prevention programmes are in place in 20
of the worst-affected countries.
Habitat II – the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements
was held in Istanbul from 3-14 June 1996, with a focus on problems
of urbanization resulting in the Habitat Agenda concerning
environment, human rights, social development, women and population
in the specific context of urbanization. Recognition of the right to
adequate housing as a universal human right was one of the most
contentious issues, with some delegates seeing it as rather subsumed
under the more general right to adequate standard of living, and
final consensus reached on its ‘progressive realization’. Children
incorporated into 45 of the 241 articles of the programme, thanks to
the efforts of UNICEF and NGOs. UNICEF helped ensure inclusion of
relevant CRC principles.
The Mayors Defenders of Children Initiative took on new members.
Support for disaggregated data on urban/rural differences important.
World Food Summit, in Rome, 13-17 November 1996 adopted by
consensus the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World
Food Summit Plan of Action (earlier 1974 World Food Conference had
proclaimed that every man, woman and child has inalienable right to
be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop their
physical and mental facilities; and in December 1992 the FAO/WHO
International Conference on Nutrition also recognized “that access
to nutritionally adequate and safe food is a right of each
1996/97 UNICEF and the Government of Iraq worked with WFP to carry
out major surveys to assess the impact on children of both the
1991 Gulf War and international sanctions. Results showed U5
underweight rose from 9% to 26% since 1991. Nearly 1/3 of U5s were
chronically malnourished or stunted and more than 1/10 acutely
malnourished – an increase of almost 300% since 1991. Results of the
surveys spurred international media attention and focused greater
attention in the UN and elsewhere on the negative impact of
sanctions on children.
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative launched by
World Bank and IMF designed to assist poor countries to achieve
sustainable levels of debt based on an established track record of
implementing social and economic reform and on the condition that
additional resources are channeled to basic social services.
Expansion of programme assistance in CEE/CIS and Baltic States:
UNICEF assistance for 1st time supports needs of children throughout
CEE/CIS/Baltic States region.
Growing attention to poverty: Designation of 1996 as Year of
Poverty Alleviation and announcement of the First UN Decade for
the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2001).
Total contributions reached US$944 million.