National Assembly makes a pledge to enhance child rights
Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative and Mr. Trajko Veljanoski, President of the Assembly
Skopje, 20 November 2009: On the day the world celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Mr. Trajko Veljanoski, President of the Assembly and Mr. Sheldon Yett, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative signed a long term cooperation agreement to strengthen the role of parliamentarians in promoting and protecting children’s rights in this country.
Recognizing that the principals and spirit of the Convention are captured in most national legislation and that institutions are taking measures to address child rights violation, Assembly President Veljanoski said, “We will put a special emphasis on the analysis of relevant proposed and existing laws, the supervision over polices and strategies that are adopted, as well as well as the appropriation of the budget that is necessary for the protection of children’s rights.”
The cooperation agreement provides a formal framework for UNICEF support to strengthen the Assembly’s role in ensuring child rights are protected in national legislation, as well as through improved oversight and allocation of budgetary resources.
“Parliamentarians have a platform to probe, to demand, to raise issues, to alter attitudes – these are incredible powers that deserve to be harnessed for children,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Re representative.
The cooperation agreement foresees the establishment of a Parliamentary Management Board and a Working Group for Child Rights under the Committee for Labour and Social Policy.
Chaired by the President of the Assembly, Mr. Trajko Veljanoski, the management board will be responsible for leading advocacy efforts to mobilize support for necessary legislation and other efforts to protect child rights, as well as for overseeing the implementation of the activities outlined in the memorandum.
President Veljanoski said, “While the Working Group will conduct an inquiry into the feasibility of transforming into a permanent standing committee for child rights, it will be responsible for overseeing activities to ensure child rights and children’s interests are taken into account in legislation, budget allocations and other areas of parliamentary debate.”
The agreement foresees a number of specific activities designed to develop an agenda for action to address identified gaps in legislation.
For more information please contact:
Suzie Pappas-Capovska, Communication Officer, UNICEF, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org