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UAE reiterates commitment to Children's Rights

posted on 21/10/2009: 926 views

New York - The UAE has reiterated its commitment to implement the highest international standards of policy on the protection of children and child welfare to boost the rights of children. The country has also underscored its permanent policy in support of children's issues through the implementation of various national development programmes.

In a UAE address to the Third committee of the Sixty-Fourth United Nations General Assembly, deliberating on the protection of the rights of children, during which members of the Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) discussed national programmes to nurture young citizens, Noura Saeed Al-Mansouri, member of the UAE delegation to the UN, reiterated the UAE's determination to continue its support for the UN's efforts to protect millions of children worldwide who are mostly victims of conflicts, natural disasters and poverty.

She noted that millions of children remained below the poverty line in developing countries, while the United Nations itself faced challenges in trying to improve the situation, given the current financial crisis and fallout from climate change. "The Government of the United Arab Emirates was examining the possibility of signing the two Optional Protocols, having already signed the Women's Anti-Discrimination Convention, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ILO Convention on minimum age, and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. It currently has laws guaranteeing the rights of the child to reflect provisions in those documents," she stated.

She pointed out that efforts are ongoing now to promulgate national draft law for the protection of children, adding that the law, which makes provision for all rights of children as contained in the Children's Rights Agreement, would form the basic tool for the concerned state organs to handle children's issues effectively.

She cited some statistics which show UAE has made great achievements in the area of improving the situation of children in the country. She said the UAE had successfully reduced its maternal- and child-mortality rates. It had eradicated polio, and suffered no deaths from diarrhoea. "The Government has programmes to support breast feeding. It has programmes to support adolescents. It provides school meals. School attendance is now 86 per cent at the primary school level. The school curriculum, based on the programme "schools for the future", was designed to bring education at the United Arab Emirates up to international standards. Aside from domestic programmes, the country is also active in assisting developing countries," she stated.

She said her country is particularly concerned about children deprived of their rights through poverty, conflict and occupation, especially in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. "In the Gaza Strip, in particular, the children continue to suffer from various forms of Israeli violence, displacement, lack of sources of decent life and basic elements of sustenance like food, medicine and good shelter," she stated, adding that although the world is trying to reach out to these kind of underprivileged children, more needed to be done to provide such countries with assistance.

She expressed the UAE's great respect for the UN and its various agencies for their great efforts in this regard. "We are aware of the enormous size of the challenges facing the UN in its efforts to achieve its objectives regarding the children of the world. We are aware that these challenges have doubled in recent time due to the global financial and economic crisis and the increasing negative effects of the climate change," she said, adding that the UAE was determined to keep on providing support to the international body in this regard in various form. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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