Romanian Government and UNICEF Romania – strategic partnership for childrenBUCHAREST, 23 August 2013 - The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlăţean, the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly, Mariana Câmpeanu, and the UNICEF Representative in Romania, Sandie Blanchet, today signed the Country Programme Action Plan for 2013 – 2017 Partnership between the Government of Romania and UNICEF.
The document signed today sets out the main lines of action that the Government of Romania will develop in partnership with UNICEF in the upcoming five years for the benefit of Romanian children and in particular of the most vulnerable ones living in very poor urban and rural settings and in remote communities. Great emphasis is placed on continued reform for the full realisation of children’s rights, especially in areas like education and social protection, with a focus on children aged 0-3 years and adolescents.
“We highly appreciate the work of UNICEF in Romania, which seeks both to address child rights issues and to set related standards, thus cementing its position as a landmark institution”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Romania takes a fully responsible approach to its mission of protecting children’s rights, and the success of the programmes implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with local partners and with public authority support acts as a spur to continue and diversify such programmes. We are also aware of the current challenges that we can overcome with tangible solutions: combat the social exclusion facing vulnerable groups, which unfortunately comprise some Roma children; minimise the effects of the economic crisis; identify adequate forms of protection for children whose parents work abroad”, stressed Titus Corlăţean.
“The partnership between UNICEF and Romanian authorities has been one of the major milestones of the inter-institutional cooperation carried out from the very first years when Romania chose to embark on a deep reform process in the area of child rights protection and promotion. Hence, UNICEF Romania has joined the efforts that Romanian authorities from various sectors with relevant impact on children’s rights – such as health, education, inclusion – have made over time. The programmes implemented by UNICEF Romania addressed sensitive issues like ensuring respect for children’s fundamental rights, developing tools and mechanisms to help identify areas where children’s rights are violated, or the more efficient use of resources available for fighting exclusion and promoting the rights of all children”, stated the Minister of Labour, Mariana Câmpeanu.
“In the past twenty years, Romania has made considerable progress in respecting and implementing children’s rights, but many children still need support to grow up in a family setting and develop in a well-balanced manner. This partnership comes in recognition of the fact that much more remains to be done for vulnerable children in Romania, and that opportunities are available for Romania to identify and share its positive experiences and successful models with other countries”, declared Sandie Blanchet, UNICEF Representative in Romania.
“In the next five years, the Romania – UNICEF partnership will continue to rally and involve all stakeholders – the Government, the Parliament of Romania, local authorities, partners from the private and non-governmental sectors, the media, and UNICEF – in developing and implementing in Romania the best models and programmes that can provide all children access to early childhood education and schooling, to adequate healthcare and protection”, added Sandie Blanchet.
For the first time under this partnership, UNICEF will also provide direct support to Romania for planning and implementing EU funds in order to make sure more efficient efforts are put in to execute recommendations aimed at fulfilling children’s rights and reducing internal disparities and inequities between Romania and the rest of the European Union.
Thus, UNICEF will draw on its international, regional and local experience to offer Romania technical assistance for mobilising resources for the benefit of vulnerable children from various sources: state or local budgets, structural funds, or other sources.
Under the new 2013 – 2017 Country Programme, UNICEF will contribute a total of more than USD 16 million.