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Bush associate in top UNICEF job.

NEW YORK -- Ann Veneman has taken on the role of new Executive Director of UNICEF. Veneman was Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush cabinet. Her appointment raises a number of questions about the changes she may bring to the organization because of her connection to President Bush

Veneman succeeds Carol Bellamy who was an anathema to the Bush administration. UNICEF supporters fear that the agency would take on the Bush administration policies and limit the agency's programs on AIDS prevention, sexual health and condoms. In January Veneman told reporters that social issues such as reproductive health were "irrelevant" to UNICEF'S mission, a remark that many interpreted as signalling a change in UNICEF'S drive to promote family planning. More recently, she said that "We're not going to change UNICEF' S position."

Veneman has been visiting Malawi, Swaziland and South Africa on her first trip to Africa as agency head. Adult HIV prevalence in Swaziland is above 40 percent, and Malawi is struggling with a 14 percent infection rate.
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Title Annotation:CHILD & FAMILY; United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 20, 2005
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