One Year Later - Follow-up to the Special Session on Children
ONE YEAR LATER FOLLOW-UP TO THE SPECIAL SESSION ON CHILDREN
Skopje, June 14th, 2006 – The country achieved good progress in meeting the short-term and medium-term goals set at the Special Session on Children (SSC) held under the auspices of UNICEF and the Office of the Prime Minister on 20th June 2005. This was the conclusion of yesterday’s annual review meeting which the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and UNICEF jointly organized to review progress made and to identify gaps in achieving the goals endorsed in the main outcome document of the Special Session – the Agenda for Action.
Representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Local Self-government and the Ombudsperson for Children presented reports on achievements and constrains in reaching the goals.
“Renewed efforts are required to meet all the targets of the SSC Agenda for Action and to re-adjust the agenda in light of the new development environment including the EU accession,” said UNICEF Country Representative, Hongwei Gao.
Participants agreed that the Government should sharpen focus on partnerships, inter-sectoral and inter-ministerial cooperation. An important action point agreed at the meeting was to ensure that children’s issues are incorporated in the five components of the new EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), which will become operational in 2007.
One year ago at the Special Session on Children, government representatives, the international community and the non-governmental sector in the country committed to strong political will and mobilization of additional resources for children.
In November 2005 the Parliament unanimously endorsed the Skopje Declaration which is an outcome document of the Special Session on Children thus reconfirming political commitment to put children at the center of the country’s agenda.
UNICEF Country Office and the government partners will continue to follow-up to the Special Session on Children as outlined in the Skopje Declaration and the Agenda for Action.