Esther Brimmer
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs
DipNote Video Blog Transcript
Washington, DC
October 29, 2010

Hello. I’m Esther Brimmer. This Halloween marks the 60th anniversary of these, the UNICEF “Trick or Treat” boxes.

As a child, I can remember myself trick or treating with these boxes. Today, as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, I see first-hand where that money goes. After the tragic earthquake in Haiti in January, UNICEF was on the ground alongside so many other UN agencies supplying safe water to hundreds of thousands of victims, supporting children so they could go to school, and working to deliver valuable medical supplies. And around the world, UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries, from providing basic health care, nutrition supplements and emergency shelter to promoting education opportunities and planning for growing youth populations in urban areas.

The “Trick or Treat for UNICEF” campaign started in 1950 when Philadelphia schoolchildren raised a whopping total of 17 dollars by going door-to-door on Halloween. Today, as I and my colleagues work to advance U.S. policy in the UN system, these boxes remind me of the enormous generosity of the American people for the good work that the many agencies of the United Nations carry out each and every day around the world. The United States has long been a strong supporter of the work the United Nations system undertakes, whether it is providing emergency relief from natural disaster, preventing or halting deadly armed conflicts, or coordinating the systems that tie together our broad world, from aviation to telecommunications to shipping.

So, when you see these little orange boxes this weekend, take a second to think about the important work the United States and the United Nations do every day to improve the lives of people around the world. Thanks for listening, and happy Halloween!