New UNICEF representative arrives in Philippines


Posted at Apr 21 2014 05:52 PM | Updated as of Apr 22 2014 01:52 AM

MANILA -- Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Monday welcomed Lotta Sylwander as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative to the Philippines.

“Children in the Philippines are our future and we are very happy that you are here, Ms. Sylwander, to assist us in ensuring a brighter future for children and for our country," Del Rosario said.

Prior to serving in the Philippines, Sylwander served as the UNICEF representative to Vietnam from 2010-2014, where she helped change UNICEF programming in the country. Her efforts led to a stronger focus on child protection, social protection, and ethnic minority issues and to decentralized planning.

Sylwander and her team worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice in Vietnam, and other justice agencies to promote the establishment of a child-friendly justice system, including laws for children in conflict the law, and child victims and witnesses of crime.

From 2006 to 2010, Sylwander served as UNICEF representative to Zambia, and deputy director general and director of the Africa Department at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) from 2001 to 2006, before joining UNICEF.

She also spent time in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The Philippines is such an interesting country with so much capacity and energy, I am looking forward to working with the Government to improve the lives of children who make up for half of the country’s population," she said.

UNICEF began its operations in the Philippines in 1948, working with the people and the government as a longstanding, trusted partner in advancing the rights of children through regular programs and in support of countless emergencies caused by natural calamities.

The current Country Program of Cooperation (2012-2016) is the seventh five-year agreement UNICEF has signed with the Government of the Philippines, which serves as the basis of UNICEF program implementation in the country.