UNICEF calls upon corporate houses to put children at centre stage
By Gurinder GulatiGovernment of Gujarat organized “Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor’s Summit” on 12-13 January 2009. Though, the main objective of this summit was to mobilize investments for the economic development of Gujarat, the highlight of this year’s summit was the focus on improving “human development”, along with economic and industrial development.
“Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2009” and particularly the seminar on “Inclusive human development through global partnerships” provided a good platform for strong advocacy with the corporate houses to put children at the centre stage of their corporate social responsibility (CSR)
As a part of the Summit, the government had also organized a seminar on “Inclusive Human Development through Global Partnerships”. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jay Narayan Vyas, Gujarat Health Minister remarked, “Having achieved great successes in economic development, the time has come now to focus on the overall quality of life, that is, the Human Development Index”.
Dr Yogendra Mathur, UNICEF Chief of Office for Gujarat, also addressed the delegates and apprised them about the situation of children in the state and how UNICEF was cooperating with the Government of Gujarat in fulfilling the rights of children. Dr Mathur also took the opportunity to inform delegates about the role corporate houses can play in improving human development in the state by joining hands with UNICEF and the government. In recognition of their strong partnership with the government to improve the lives of women and children in the state, UNICEF had been accorded the special status of “Partner Organization” of the government in the social sector.
“Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2009” and particularly the seminar on “Inclusive human development through global partnerships” provided a good platform for strong advocacy with the corporate houses to put children at the centre stage of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and thus contribute to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Over 8,500 MoUs worth USD 241 billion were signed at the 2-day Summit for investment in different sectors, including social sectors like health, education and tribal welfare.
A mega exhibition of more than 250 pavilions had been put up by different Corporates from across the world, including India, to showcase the technological advances and the potential for investment in the State. The exhibition also included a section on social infrastructure. UNICEF, as the partner organization, also seized the opportunity to showcase the contribution being made by them in enhancing child survival and development in the state. In addition to a large number of delegates, the exhibition, which remained open for 10 days, was visited by Ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Panchayat (local government) Members and public at large.