UNICEF Regional Director visited Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, July 9, 2010 - Mr. Steven Allen, the Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States visited this week Sarajevo and Banjaluka in order to discuss UNICEF's involvement in improving lives of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During his visit Mr Allen had meetings with the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Mr. Nikola Spiric, Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Mr. Mustafa Mujezinovic, H.E. Mr. Sredoje Novic, Minister of Civil Affairs and the Minister of Health and Social Protection of Republika Srpska, H.E. Prof. Dr. Ranko Skrbic, as well as with UNICEF's international partners and donors, Mr. Boris Iarochevitch, Head of Operations, Delegation of the European Commission to BiH and Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator.
Themes covered in meetings were related to UNICEF's priorities – early childhood development focusing on immunization and preschool education, juvenile justice and social protection and inclusion of children. The focus was on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and on their impact on lives of children in middle income countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr Allen stressed that a special effort has to be made to ensure that even the most excluded and vulnerable families benefit from development processes. In all meetings, Mr Allen reconfirmed with UNICEF's partners that progress has been made in terms of fulfilling children's rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina comparing to the period 1998-2002, when he was UNICEF's Special Representative for Former Yugoslavia, based in Sarajevo, yet much more needs to be improved in order to realize that all rights are fulfilled for every child.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to contribute to build a world where the rights of every child are fulfilled, as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly. In the last 20 years, guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has been promoting child health and nutrition, quality basic education, protection of children from violence and exploitation, advocating for children's full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. In Bosnia and Herzegovina UNICEF focuses on addressing three key issues that are still challenging the fulfillment of child rights: poverty, social exclusion and system weaknesses.
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