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The child in the family


UNICEF held a Consultation with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA): Meeting on the Child in the Family - September 14, 2004  

UNICEF hosted a consultation on “the Child in the Family” with DESA during the UNICEF Executive Board, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family.  The consultation meeting was conducted at the United Nations on September 14, 2004. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy made the opening remarks at the meeting. She reiterated that the best environment for raising children is within a strong, loving and supportive family. In her closing remarks, Rima Salah, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa emphasized the importance of the family and UNICEF’s programs to support the family.

International Conference on Family Held in Qatar - November 29-30, 2004

The State of Qatar hosted “The Doha International Conference for the Family” in November 29-30, 2004. In celebration of the International Year of the Family, the conference highlighted the family-related efforts of governments, academicians, faith-based organizations, NGOs, and members of civil society during a year-long series of events. The conference emphasized the pressing need to strengthen the family in performing its vital social role and reminded the world that the family is the fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection and support.

The Conference concluded its events by adopting the Doha Declaration which carries a message to the states of the world emphasizing the importance of restating the family and calls upon governments to be committed to promote the role of family and its protection as a fundamental unit of which society is made. A UNICEF delegation led by Mr. Thomas McDermott, Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa participated in the conference. Mr. Xinggen Wang, Special Advisor, Office of the Executive Director from UNICEF New York Headquarters also attended the conference.

World Family Summit Held in China - December 6-9, 2004

The World Family Organization and the Chinese Government have jointly hosted the World Family Summit in China to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of Family. The main purpose of the Summit is to provide a forum for the International Community to share experiences in implementing the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Program of Action as well as to promote the family’s contribution to achieve the Millennium Development Goals following a multi-stakeholder approach.

The Summit was held in December 6-9, 2004, in Sanya, Hainan Province, China. Representatives from UNICEF China office participated in the Summit.

United Nations General Assembly Commemorated 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family on 6 December, 2004

At the Plenary session of the Fifty-ninth General Assembly in the morning of December 6th, 2004, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family should incite the international community to do more to address the challenges faced by families, as it considered preparations for and observance of that event and adopted a related resolution.

The Resolution introduced by Qatar and entitled Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family encouraged governments to make every possible effort to realize the objectives of the tenth anniversary and to integrate a family perspective in their planning processes.  The text was adopted without a vote as orally revised.

Over twenty representatives from the United Nations Member States addressed the Assembly in the general debate.

Panel Held at the United Nations to Observe the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family on 6 December, 2004

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the New York NGO Committee on the Family jointly organised a panel in the afternoon of December 6th, following the plenary meeting of the General Assembly to observe the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family. The panel was chaired by Mr. Johan Scholvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development of UNDESA. It was composed of five speakers: Ms. Ana Teresa Aranda; Mr. Edwin Judd (UNICEF); Ms. Aminata Toure (UNFPA); Dr. Mark Belsey; and Dr. Masako Ishii-Kuntz. They addressed family issues from their own perspective. Please view their presentations linked below.

Ana Teresa Aranda
Director General for the Mexican System of Integral Development of the Family (DIF) since 2001 and Chairperson of the Council of the Interamerican Institute for Children of the Organization of American States (OAS) since October 2004.  The presentation referred to the Mexican experience in public policies related to families and the diagnosis of the family in Mexico, which has been one of the major programmes carried out by DIF. [PowerPoint]

Edwin Judd
Director, Programme Division, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  Mr. Judd plays a leading role in guiding UNICEF programmes to strengthen the family in the survival, development, protection and participation of children. His presentation focused on UNICEF’s strategies to support the family as well as to work with the family as part of global efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals. [Word]

Aminata Toure
Technical Adviser in the Gender, Culture and Human Rights Branch, UNFPA. Her presentation, “Strengthening the capacity of families through the implementation of the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Plan of Action: UNFPA perspective”, focused on strategies and experiences in key areas of support to families, as contributions to mitigating poverty affecting families. [Word]

Mark Belsey
Author of the forthcoming UNDESA publication “AIDS and the Family: Policy Options for a Crisis in Family Capital”.  Dr. Belsey remarked that HIV/AIDS is a family disease; the family network and family capital are major factors influencing the capacity of families to cope with the disease and its consequences.  During his 24 years with the World Health Organization, Dr. Belsey served as Chief Medical Officer and Programme Manager of the Programme of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning, and he was the focal point for Family Health and the International Year of the Family. [Word] 

Masako Ishii-Kuntz
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Riverside. Her presentation focused on antecedents to Japanese fathers’ involvement in childcare and housework as well as consequences of paternal involvement on various child development outcomes. Dr. Ishii-Kuntz presented her current research which examines Japanese advocacy groups for shared parenting between mothers and fathers in order to better understand how Japanese fathers are able to balance work and family demands. [PowerPoint]




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