New York, February 04, 2015
The silence was observed on the request of Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN and President of UNICEF Executive Board.
Presiding over the meeting, Ambassador Masood Khan said that the dastardly attack killed 134 children in a school in Peshawar traumatized our nation and the entire world and galvanized us to take actions to save children from savagery and brutality.
Ha said that these precious children came into the world full of potential that has now been taken away and that throughout this coming year, we would keep these children in our hearts and minds as we work with the Executive Director and his team to make UNICEF stronger to meet the ever-increasing needs of all the world's children. “Let us fight for the rights and well-being of each and every child as if they were our own”, he added.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Khan said that the Executive Board begin its work for 2015 at a time of both great promise and serious peril for the world's children. He said, “In this year as we assess the real progress made in many countries towards the Millennium Development Goals, we see how much remains to be done for the world's poorest and most marginalized citizens, especially children”.
He said that children around the world were under greater threat than ever before from humanitarian emergencies, sectarian strife and crises such as the outbreak of the Ebola virus which had cost so many lives and devastated families and communities in West Africa. “In the last few months, we have been devastated by increasingly brutal attacks against children and seen previously unimaginable horrors as children have been used as weapons by extremist groups”, he added.
Ambassador Khan informed the Board that more than 30 member states had formed an informal Group of Friends for Children and the Social Development Goals. The Group would be co-chaired by Pakistan, Luxembourg and Guatemala and it would work with this year's two intergovernmental processes for the post-2015 development agenda and financing for development to ensure promotion and protection of the rights and interests of children.
He recounted the achievements of UNICEF and appreciated the work done his predecessor and the the staff of UNICEF all over the world.