UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan set priorities for 2008-2009
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 29 November 2007 – The United Nations Children’s Fund and the Government of Turkmenistan have completed the Mid Term Review process of the joint Country Programme for 2005-2009 and set the priority areas of collaboration for the coming two years.
MTR has taken place in the backdrop of major reform initiatives of the Government of Turkmenistan, the necessity to further improve the coherence among the UN Agencies for achieving results in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and UNICEF’s organizational reform to gain a sharper programme focus and operational efficiency to emerge as an influential knowledge leader for children’s rights.
The Mid Term Review was a year long process with numerous meetings and consultations with national partners, including Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Medical Industry, Education, Culture, TV and Radio Broadcasting, Economy and Finance, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, as well as Mejlis, Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, State Statistical Committee, National Institute of Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Youth Organization, Women’s Union, High Council on Science and Technology, and Hakimliks of all five velayats of Turkmenistan.
To further improve the conditions of children and women, the Government of Turkmenistan has made significant achievements with technical assistance of UNICEF during the first three years of the joint Country Programme. The noteworthy achievements are Turkmenistan’s submission of the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) report; Multi Indicator Cluster Survey that provided for a range of social data; adoption of policies to improve child survival; sustained national immunization programme; significant investing in social sectors and rural development; and specific preventive interventions to ensure a safe and productive future for youth.
The Mid Term Review has revealed that during 2008-2009, UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan will focus their efforts and resources on preparing the National Plan of Action for children, addressing issues on juvenile justice, disability, and institutional care, improving the child rights legislation, and strengthening the capacity of service providers and velayat partners on local level planning for children. In addition, a strong emphasis will be put on quality improvement of education, neonatal care, and nationwide awareness raising and behaviour impact campaigns on health, education, HIV/AIDS prevention and protection issues.