Founded in 1946, UNICEF advocates and works for the protection of children's rights, to help the young meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. The UNICEF Executive Board reaffirmed this mandate in January 1996, when it adopted a statement on the mission of UNICEF saying that UNICEF "is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children."
The statement is also available in Arabic, Chinese and Russian as well as in English, French and Spanish.
UNICEF, the only
organization of the United Nations dedicated exclusively
to children, works with other United Nations agencies,
governments and non-governmental organizations to provide
community-based services in primary health care,
nutrition, basic education and safe water and sanitation
to the developing world. It aims to reduce the terrible
toll the lack of such services takes on the world's
youngest citizens. The current Executive Director is
Carol Bellamy of the United States of America.