|UNICEF Representative in Angola Angela Kearney (far right) sits on a panel with high-level government officials at the training seminar on the country’s ‘11 Commitments for Children’.|
By Lone Hvass
LUANDA, Angola, 11 July 2008 – More than 140 of the Angolan Government’s senior staff members and Provincial Directors met last month for a training seminar on the country’s ‘11 Commitments for Children’.
The objective of the seminar was to strengthen the capacity for provincial administrators to implement the Commitments, which serve as the country’s main platform for promoting child rights in the wake of its nearly three decades of civil war.
The Commitments cover all facets of children’s rights such as protecting their health and ensuring them an education.
Reaching children where they live
The aim is to dynamically roll out the Commitments – based on the Millennium Development Goals and also including child protection – in the run-up to a National Forum for Children to be held in June 2009. Inclusion of municipalities in the implementation plan will help to reach children in the communities where they live.
In order to strengthen implementation and monitoring capacity, the recent training workshop also reviewed the structure of Angola’s National Council for Children and hopes to promote the establishment of Provincial Councils for Children.
Nascent provincial structures have already been set up in 14 out of the country’s 18 provinces.
Leaders unite for children
“It is really encouraging to note the sense of common ground among leaders and clarity on the crucial role played by planning and budgeting to deliver on these commitments for children,” UNICEF Representative in Angola Angela Kearney said as the seminar was drawing to a close.
The third National Forum for Children, held in June 2007, saw the birth of the National Council for Children and a strengthened resolve towards setting goals and commitments for children’s development, education and protection. The gathering of such a large group of Provincial Directors from around the country in June of this year was a clear sign that Angola’s leaders are uniting for children.