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Statement - UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman defends UNICEF’s voice for children in Sri Lanka

2009-09-06

NEW YORK, 7 September 2009 – “UNICEF is extremely concerned and disappointed with the Sri Lankan Government’s decision to expel UNICEF’s chief of communications in Sri Lanka, James Elder.

“UNICEF has always upheld the principle of impartial advocacy and communication on behalf of children as a fundamental part of its global mandate.

“Through Mr. Elder, UNICEF has consistently spoken out against the suffering of children on both sides of the intense hostilities earlier this year and called for their protection. UNICEF unequivocally rejects any allegation of bias.

“UNICEF will continue to uphold its mandate in Sri Lanka, and elsewhere, to advocate and speak out on behalf of vulnerable children and women."

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.