Chamber of Deputies, Government of Romania and UNICEF Romania: protecting children is a priority!
BUCHAREST, 21 November 2013. On November 20th, 2013 – the Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF Romania and the Chamber of Deputies together with the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection organised a debate at the Parliament Palace on children’s rights with representatives of the Parliament, Government and civil society. On the same occasion, UNICEF Romania and the Chamber of Deputies held an Information and Fundraising Gala to help protect children from violence, abuse and neglect. The Gala is part of the #ENDviolence campaign that UNICEF is running between November 2013 and February 2014 in Romania.
“Six months ago, the Chamber of Deputies entered a partnership with UNICEF. We decided then to set up the Special Committee for Vulnerable Children and to hold a fundraiser at the Parliament Palace. Just like six months ago, I still believe that there is no other area where civil participation and public-private partnership can have a stronger impact than in the field of child care. Because if we manage to offer a better future to our children, then we will definitely be able to have a better future for the society in which we live,” said Valeriu Zgonea, President of the Chamber of Deputies.
The central topic of the debate was the progress Romania has achieved in terms of child rights realisation and promotion, and identifying solutions to the challenges that continue to undermine child rights. The debate highlighted the importance of investing in children as a human rights priority and a guarantee for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, as defined by the European Union.
“I think it is high time that all policies targeting education, health and social services be integrated, even more so as the current socio-economic context requires us to prioritise and coordinate our work so that children’s rights are observed,” stated Mariana Câmpeanu, the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Senior Citizens.
In the evening, the Information and Fundraising Gala gathered the Prime Minister of Romania – Victor Ponta, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies – Valeriu Zgonea, the UNICEF Representative in Romania – Sandie Blanchet, the Minister of Labour, Family and Social Protection – Mariana Câmpeanu, the Minister of Education – Remus Pricopie, the Minister of European Funds – Eugen Teodorovici, the Minister of Youth and Sport – Nicolae Bănicioiu, as well as other representatives of the Romanian Government and Parliament, of the diplomatic and business community, public figures, artists and journalists in support of UNICEF and vulnerable children. The Gala was hosted by Andreea Marin, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Romania.
“Protecting and promoting children’s rights is the most valuable long-term investment a country can make. With the end of the economic crisis in Romania, we have the opportunity to reverse the negative impact of the crisis and show that, together, we – the Government, the Parliament, international organisations and the civil society – can concretely improve the life of four million children and their families today for the future of the country,” declared Sandie Blanchet, UNICEF Representative in Romania.
UNICEF works with central and local governments, NGOs and other partners to develop and implement cost-effective models to prevent violence, to improve the legal framework and to influence social norms. The over USD 100,000 raised at the Gala will support UNICEF efforts to ensure that each community in Romania has a social worker, a nurse and a friendly school that are able to identify early cases of violence against children and offer support.
In his Gala speech, Prime Minister Victor Ponta highlighted the fact that his Government sees children as a priority. Prime Minster also announced that, in 2014, the Government of Romania and UNICEF will plan a High-Level European Conference on investing in children as a means to break the cycle of disadvantage.
Gala guests were given an exceptional recital by the famous mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose and Sergiu Tuhuțiu, a world-renowned pianist. “A beautiful life is the greatest work of art, and art and music make life more beautiful. I’ve given full measure at the UNICEF event, putting my music and art to the service of a beautiful life for children. Violence against children is unacceptable and any gesture to stop this dramatic phenomenon is critical!” said Ruxandra Donose.
Another evening highlight was the Auction of Dolls, where the Prime Minister bought the doll Nora for his daughter, Irina.
Academica, E.ON, Enel, Rompetrol were the main partners for the Gala, and support was also given by Eximbank, Vodafone Romania Foundation, RCS & RDS and Raiffeisen BANK in response to our call to punt an end to violence against children. We thank 360 REVOLUTION provided technical support that contributed to a successful event, as well as Molecule F and Anima Quartet.
The Prime Minister, Sandie Blanchet and the President of the Chamber of Deputies
the President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Ministers of Social Protection and European Funds
The President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Minister of Education
Nicolae Banicioiu the Minister of Youth and two of our colleagues
UNICEF is on the ground in Romania and other 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. In Romania, UNICEF works with the Government, the Parliament, local authorities, the civil society, the private sector, national and international partners and the media to provide all children and adolescents with access to quality care and education, to protect them from violence and ensure that they grow up in a family environment, to monitor child rights and leverage resources for children. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.