Antigua and Barbuda takes Leadership role in Major United Nations Funds and Programmes in 2016

NEW YORK, NY, - USA - January 17th, 2016- The Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations through its diplomatic staff, now hold seats on the executive boards of three specialized funds and programmes at the United Nations; The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN).   

In addition to being executive board members for the term 2016-2017, Antigua and Barbuda will assume two very prominent posts; Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Walton Webson has been elected Vice President of UNICEF and Mr. Tumasie Blair, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission has been elected Vice-President of UNDP. Third Secretary, Mr. Claxton Duberry will represent Antigua and Barbuda at UN Women.  As Vice- Presidents, Ambassador Webson and Mr. Blair will attend all bureau meetings and will speak for, and make decisions in consultation with, the 33 member states of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC).

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, focusing on the challenges of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS; UN Women, which focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is joined with UNDP’s executive board and focuses on reproductive health and youth empowerment. 

Ambassador Webson after completing the Vice Presidency of UNICEF in 2016 will lead the agency as President in 2017. UNICEF is responsible for long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers.   Counselor Glentis Thomas will also serve on the UNICEF executive board. 

“To serve in leadership roles on three important UN agencies is a major accomplishment for Antigua and Barbuda and it demonstrates the trust and confidence placed in the twin island nation by fellow UN member states,” said Foreign Minister Charles Fernandez.

He pointed out that 2016 is an important year for the UN funds and programmes, as the funds and programmes are undergoing severe financial difficulties and staff restructuring.  The Antiguan and Barbudan diplomats will ensure that Antigua and Barbuda reap benefits while serving on the respective boards and in addition push for greater financial and human resource allocation to the regional offices and in particular to CARICOM.   

“Antigua and Barbuda is particularly proud to serve in this capacity in 2016 as the United Nations is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. The 70th year has been marked by the landmark agreements on Financing for Development (FfD), Climate Change and the 2030 UN development agenda including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” pointed out Ambassador Webson.  
“Antigua and Barbuda will be primed to ensure that people in our communities are able to benefit from the partnerships, opportunities and commitments that present themselves,” he concluded. (Ends)


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