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UNICEF Azerbaijan launched special edition of State of the World’s Children to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Parliament

© UNICEF Azerbaijan/E. Ibrahimova/2009
BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 2009 – Mark Hereward a UNICEF Representative makes a speech during the Launch of a Special Edition of the State of the World's Children to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Parliament.

BAKU, 20 November 2009 – Today, during a special session in the Parliament of Azerbaijan (Milli Mejlis), UNICEF released its flagship report focusing on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention is the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for all children. 

Since 1989, the CRC has achieved near-universal acceptance, having now been ratified by 193 parties – more than belong to the United Nations or have acceded to the Geneva Conventions.

The special session in the Milli Mejlis dedicated to the CRC anniversary, was opened by the Chairman of the Parliament Oqtay Asadov, and then followed by the speeches of MPs, UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Mark Hereward, Ombudsperson Elmira Suleymanova, the deputy chairperson of the State Committee on Family, Woman and Child Problems Sadagat Gahramanova and the speaker of the Child Parliament Taleh Aliyev.

Worldwide today UNICEF and civil society partners are convening representatives of Governments, civil society, the private sector, as well as children and young people at the United Nations to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Azerbaijan ratified the Convention in 1992 and has been working since then to fulfill its obligations. A new report on progress towards realization of Child Rights has just be finalized and sent to the Committee on the Rights of the Child for review.
Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov said, “children are the most valuable wealth of every nation.  Celebrating the anniversary of the Convention today is especially important, as 2009 was declared a Year of a Child in Azerbaijan”.

“The Parliament has been doing its best to create the necessary legal framework for the proper realization of child rights. Many conventions that define the rights and liberties of children and women have been ratified. Ten laws on children’s rights have been adopted. Overall, over 70 laws, 10 codes in Azerbaijan cover children’s rights,” he added.
UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Mark Hereward said, “we in UNICEF join forces with the Government and Parliament, the international community, non-governmental organizations, the media and young people – to reach our common objectives and ensure rights for all children, with no exceptions and no child left out.”

“Based on surveys from across the world, UNICEF estimates that for every dollar invested in the physical and cognitive development of children, societies eventually recoup seven dollars they do not need to spend on emergency health care, social services and prisons. The imperative for improving health, education and other social services is as much economic and is it moral,” he said.

“We are also investing in research to show what the cost would be to Azerbaijan of not investing in basic health, education and other social services – such as the long-term cost to the economy if schools do not improve enough to produce a globally competitive workforce.”

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.



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