New York May 14 (ANI): “Thousands of children remain trapped by the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka, putting their lives at serious risk. It is unacceptable that children continue to be the innocent victims of this ongoing conflict,” claimed Ann M. Veneman, the Executive Director of UNICEF.
“Children caught in the crossfire lack adequate access to medicine, water and food. Safe humanitarian access to these children is critical to their well-being. Civilians should be allowed to move away from the conflict zone to safe areas and maximum restraint should be exercised by both parties, including halting the use of heavy weapons in densely populated areas,” Veneman said in a statement issued here.
“UNICEF joins the United Nations Secretary-General in calling on both sides to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law,” she added.
Veneman is the fifth Executive Director of UNICEF in its 60-year history. Prior to joining UNICEF on May 1 , 2005, Veneman served as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.
At UNICEF, Veneman directs a global agency of over 10,000 staff and annual total resources of over three billion dollars, funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals.
Since becoming UNICEF’s Executive Director, Veneman has witnessed first hand the work of UNICEF, speaking at meetings and conferences, and visiting heads of state or government and other partners. (ANI)