Asia Pacific Governments adopt New Delhi Declaration on cooperation for children’s rightsBangkok, 25 October 2013 - A New Delhi Declaration, renewing governments’ commitments to the rights of children and pledging to support each other in the achievement of those rights, was adopted unanimously today by Asian and Pacific States attending the Second High Level Meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific.
The meeting, hosted by the Government of India and supported by UNICEF, was attended by representatives of 32 States from across South and East Asia and the Pacific. Prior to adopting the Declaration, participants exchanged information about lessons learned and best practices on early childhood development, children in urban environments, and opportunities and issues concerning adolescents. They also discussed ways to enhance South-South cooperation in the interests of the region’s children.
In addition to reaffirming States’ commitments to children’s rights, the Delhi Declaration sets out a series of recommendations that will serve as a roadmap for future cooperation, including collaboration on ways to improve the collection of data on children, and the undertaking of multi-country research and studies into children’s issues and the best means to address them.
The Declaration addresses the need for adequate investments in education, job creation and social participation to address the different threats and challenges faced by adolescents, as well as to eliminate violence against children and adolescents. It also recommends that governments seek meaningful participation by adolescents in decision-making, and improve access, quality, and relevance of lower secondary education and vocational training, to strengthen adolescents’ job prospects, including those of adolescent girls.
Enhancement of national and regional coordination on early childhood development is recommended, to advance exclusive breastfeeding, full immunization, and children’s access to clean water and hygienic sanitation.
The Delhi Declaration calls for better access to data about children in urban areas, and particularly about children in slums and per-urban areas. It recommends information sharing and cooperation between cities in the region so they can meet their potential as places that promote child rights. Efforts to ensure equitable access to services and livelihood options for the most marginalized and excluded urban children, such as those living in slums, are recommended, as are examinations of the service issues facing rural populations, to allow for a more holistic approach to rural to urban migration.
The Second High Level Meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific meeting follows a similar High-Level Meeting held in Beijing, China in 2010.
Attendees included government ministers and senior public officials, including India’s Minister of State for Women and Child Development (Independent Charge), Her Excellency Mrs. Krishna Tirath.
Delegations of the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niue, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Viet Nam attended the meeting and a statement from the Government of Vanuatu was delivered.
The Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr. Anthony Lake also participated, along with representatives of regional organizations, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
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