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Lake Sworn In As UNICEF Executive Director

Anthony Lake, who “has been a foreign policy advisor to several Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates,” has officially become the executive director of UNICEF, Agence France-Presse reports (5/2). Lake was sworn into office Monday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. headquarters in New York, according to a UNICEF article (5/3).

“I look forward to working with our exceptional staff and our many partners to advance children’s rights around the world,” Lake said during his first day on the job, AFP writes. Lake said, “Peace and security are the foundation of a world fit for children. Wars not only kill children, they breed disease and destroy economic hope.” True peace is found in “the secure and healthy lives of girls and boys,” he added. “If we improve their lives today, we help them inherit a better tomorrow,” he said (5/2).

According to the U.N. News Centre, Lake became UNICEF’s sixth executive director “in succession to Ann Veneman, a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, bringing more than 45 years of public and international service to the position.” Lake is a “strong supporter of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” the publication notes. According to Lake, the MDGs “are about giving the world’s most vulnerable children a better chance to reach their full potential – whether it’s improving maternal and child health, increasing gender parity in education, or eradicating hunger.”

He added, “We’ve got a lot of urgent work ahead, leading up to, and beyond, the 2015 MDG targets we’ve set for ourselves. And I believe we can do it – with political commitment, sound strategies, adequate investment and the engagement of a global community” (5/3).

A UNICEF press release notes Lake’s “long-standing” ties with the agency. “He served for nine years on the board of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, including as chair of the board from 2004 to 2007. Under his chairmanship, the U.S. Fund saw a significant increase in funding and undertook a transition in personnel and mission,” according to the release (5/1).