UNICEF Regional Director arrives for high-level meetings in Montenegro
PODGORICA, 24 OCTOBER 2013 – UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Marie-Pierre Poirier arrived in the capital today for her first visit to Montenegro to advocate for the rights of the country's most vulnerable children.
Ms Poirier will meet the Minister of Health Miodrag Radunovic, Minister for Human and Minority Rights Suad Numanovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Luksic, Minister of Education Slavoljub Stijepovic, Ombudsman Sucko Bakovic, Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Mitja Drobnič, and other high-level officials.
During the week of 28 October to 1 November, Ms Poirier will chair a meeting of UNICEF representatives and heads of offices from the region. This is the first time that this event has been organized in Montenegro.
On the last day of her visit, she will talk to children, parents and officials at a children`s home “Mladost” in Bijela and a day care centre for children with disabilities in Herceg Novi. Within the “Every child needs a family” campaign, she will take part in the open day event of the centre for social work in Herceg Novi, aimed at promoting fostering. She will be accompanied by UNICEF Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupte, UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks and Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Goran Kusevija.
“I am very happy to visit Montenegro to get direct insights into the situation of children in the country”, said Marie-Pierre Poirier. “Montenegro has made tremendous progress in the recent past to build capacities and raise awareness about child rights. Like in other countries of the region, there are still challenges ahead, such as child poverty, low pre-school enrolment rates, inclusion of vulnerable children, particularly children with disabilities, as well as the need to ensure that every child grows up in a safe family environment.”
Based in Geneva, Ms Poirier leads UNICEF’s work in the region. She has 25 years of experience in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America in the development and management of rights-based country programmes of cooperation crafted and implemented with governments, civil society and the private sector.
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