New UNICEF representative in Montenegro

Mr. Benjamin Perks has been appointed the UNICEF Representative in Montenegro as of August 2011. Previousely, he served as Deputy Representative at the UNICEF Office in Georgia. Prior to that engagement he was Deputy Head of Office at the UNICEF Office in Kosovo. Within the last 10 years he also served in UNICEF offices in Afghanistan, India and Albania.“For many years I was directly working on strategic coordination and management of cross cutting country programmes, comprising support to social protection, child welfare, health and justice sector reform. I am very happy to work in Montenegro in this very interesting period, when the Government of Montenegro is on its way towards joining the EU. UNICEF will continue to strongly support the Government of Montenegro through the EU accession process and fulfilment of 7 key priorities, especially related to multi-sectoral reform of the child and social protection system,” said Mr. Perks upon stepping up into a new duty.

Upon taking the office, head of UNICEF Montenegro met with Montenegro’s high officials including Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović, Parliament Speaker Ranko Krivokapić, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanović, Minister of Health Miodrag Radunović, Minister of Education and Sports Slavoljub Stijepovic, Minister of Internal Affairs Ivan Brajović, Minister of Justice Dusko Marković.

Mr. Perks received assurances of a very positive cooperation between Montenegro and UNICEF for almost two decades, especially in terms of raising awareness in Montenegro for the care of children and persons with special needs. Both sides agreed on importance of an excellent partnership that has resulted in successful implementation of the program framework of cooperation in the past and defining a new program for the period 2012-2016.

Mr. Perks thanked Montenegrin officials for the strong partnership with the  United Nations Children’s Fund, which contributes to better outcomes for children in health, education and social protection. He reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to continue to support the Government in key areas to improve the position of children.

Benjamin Perks studied History and Politics at University of Hertfordshire, UK and earned a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Analysis (Political science/International Relations) at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.