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“Cities Fit for Children” Conference in Moscow aims to make cities more child-friendly

Regional Director Maria Calivis and the Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov open International Conference 'Cities for Children', organised by the Moscow City Government in cooperation with UNICEF.
© UNICEF Russian Federation/2007 / Alyona Svirid
UNICEF Regional Director Maria Calivis and the Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov open International Conference 'Cities for Children', organised by the Moscow City Government in cooperation with UNICEF.

Hosted by Moscow City Government and UNICEF, local government leaders gather from around the world

MOSCOW, 2 September 2007 -- A major international conference on developing child friendly cities was officially opened today in Moscow by the Mayor, Mr Yuri Luzhkov, and UNICEF’s Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Ms. Maria Calivis.

The two day conference will examine four major thematic areas: what cities can do for their children, children and education, children and civil society, and social environment for bringing up children.

Ms Calivis told a crowd of about 1 000 that a Memorandum of Co-operation had been signed between UNICEF and the City of Moscow. The Memorandum represented the growing commitment by the City Government to creating child friendly environment, and a commitment by UNICEF to support Moscow authorities in this endeavor.

“By holding this conference, Cities and Children, on Moscow’s 860th anniversary, the Government and UNICEF are saying children are the future of this city.” - UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Maria Calivis

UNICEF and the City Government will work together to create a culture of tolerance in the City for children of different ethnicities, with disabilities and those living with HIV/AIDS; promote meaningful child participation and reduce the time abandoned newborns spend in maternity hospitals finding alternative solutions in family settings.

“This conference offers us a great opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about the way forward to making cities more child friendly.” 
“By holding this conference, Cities and Children, on Moscow’s 860th anniversary, the Government and UNICEF are saying children are the future of this city.”

Festive opening of the International Conference 'Cities for children'. Representatives from 26 countries and 71 Russian regions, including government officials, NGO representatives and young people are participating in the conference.
© UNICEF Russian Federation/ 2007/ Alyona Svirid
Festive opening of the International Conference 'Cities for children'. Representatives from 26 countries and 71 Russian regions, including government officials, NGO representatives and young people are participating in the conference.

Ms Calivis said all cities, no matter how old or young, could only maintain their energy and ambitions with their children believing they had a future.

“The way we as adults and leaders can do this is to provide the right environment for a child to achieve their full potential through better health, education, security, and happiness within a stable family life.”

Moscow declared 2007 as the Year of the Child and is spending an additional $1.6 billion on improving child services. By the end of the year the City Government hopes to launch a 10 year strategic plan to improve the rights and conditions of children in the city. The Plan will be developed with UNICEF support.

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For more information contact:

UNICEF Russia Communication Officer Elena Kharitonova on +7 495 937 21 95,  +7 916 238 0154, ekharitonova@unicef.org.

About UNICEF:

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments

 

 
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