A Letter from UNICEF

UNICEF mourns the loss of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

By Ann M. Veneman

UNICEF joins with millions of people around the world in mourning the loss of a truly remarkable woman, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who dedicated her life to bring new hope and opportunity to children around the world who live with disabilities. While the world has lost a great visionary and leader, Mrs. Shriver's legacy lives on through her strength, determination and the organization she founded, Special Olympics.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Shriver was a tireless advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, a determined champion of children and a true friend and partner to UNICEF. She believed that everyone, irrespective of their circumstances, deserves the chance to reach their full potential and her passion has helped millions around the world live their dreams of inclusion and acceptance. UNICEF expresses its deep condolences to Mrs. Shriver's family and friends and honors her long-lasting contribution as a true global ambassador of change in helping end discrimination one child, one community, one country at a time.


Ann Margaret Veneman is currently the Executive Director of UNICEF.

The United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations System and its name was shortened from the original United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. UNICEF's programs emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children. Learn more about UNICEF