UN Coordinator: Children’s rights and empowerment lie at the heart of sustainable, inclusive and equitable developmentSep 11, 2013
First National Childhood Strategy launched in Bahrain
Your Excellency Dr. Fatima Al Baloushi
Minister of Social Development
As the Resident Coordinator for the United Nations, it is my great pleasure to welcome you this morning to the launch of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s National Childhood Strategy. The launch of this strategy is a truly momentous occasion for Bahrain and highlights the country’s progress towards meeting international standards in the area of children’s rights and protection. It is also a strong manifestation of the successful partnership between UN agencies and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Children’s rights and empowerment lie at the heart of sustainable, inclusive and equitable development. Investing in young people is inextricably linked to promoting economic growth and creating stable societies. Empowering boys and girls enables them to reach their full potential as valuable, capable citizens who can then shape prosperous communities.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, young people represent a signification portion of the country’s society. The Government of Bahrain recognizes that investing in children is vital for the country’s future and has made significant strides in achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to young people, particularly in the areas of maternal health, universal primary education, and the elimination of gender disparity at all levels of education. In discussions emerging from the new Post-2015 agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development goals, young people are already proving that they are credible partners in the international process to define the new global development agenda.
Advancing the rights of children cannot be done without effective coordination between different stakeholders in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The launch of the National Childhood Strategy is a demonstration of this effective coordination, as the strategy was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Social Development, the National Childhood Committee, UNDP and UNICEF, civil society and above all children themselves.
The National Childhood Strategy is a comprehensive document that ensures Bahrain’s sustainable development by addressing the rights of children and their access to healthcare, education and protection mechanisms, as well as their participation in decisions affecting them.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly the Minister of Social Development, Dr. Fatima Al-Balooshi for her leadership in promoting the development of the strategy and ensuring its completion.
I would also like to thank all those who participated in the thematic groups, the parents of children who participated in the focus group sessions, NGOs, and of course our partners, the Ministry of Social Development, UNICEF and the National Childhood Committee.
The next important step is ensuring the strategy’s implementation in order to turn the country’s priorities for Bahrain’s children into a reality. UNDP and UNICEF stand ready to provide assistance in the implementation of the National Childhood Strategy’s action plan. We look forward to support concrete steps that help the Bahraini children to develop their full potential as citizens of the Kingdom.
Thank you very much.