Accelerated, coordinated actions needed to improve situation of region's children: Barbados

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Ambassador Joseph Goddard, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the UN

NARRATOR: In the developing world, some 25 million children below 5 years of age suffer from acute malnutrition. 

That's what delegates in the General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee stressed, as they wrapped up their discussion on the promotion and protection of children's rights.

They noted that as Governments intensified their efforts to keep them from dying of often-preventable causes, they needed a strengthened international partnership.

And those efforts were being launched amid renewed United Nations determination to increase opportunities for improving women's and children's health.

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community – CARICOM, the representative of Barbados Ambassador Joseph Goddard said CARICOM recognizes that accelerated, coordinated actions are necessary in order to achieve desired improvements in the situation of children in the sub-region.

TAPE:  Significant progress has been made in the six priority areas of the Regional framework for action on children, adopted in 2008, namely: early childhood care and development, child protection, HIV/AIDS, education, infant mortality and maternal mortality. At the meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development held in July this year, the Council urged Member States to ensure that the necessary legislative provisions are in place to protect the rights and dignity of children. CARICOM wishes to recognise the sterling contribution of development partners, including UNICEF, in advancing the implementation of the Regional framework as well as the targets set for 2015.

NARRATOR: Ambassador Goddard said that notable progress has been made in the region in the area of child health, and with a view to heightening awareness on this issue children will be the focus of CARICOM Wellness Day 2012.

TAPE:  CARICOM wishes, however, to express once again its deep concern at the rising levels of obesity among children and youth. Childhood obesity is a major public health challenge in the Caribbean, and constitutes nothing less than a threat to human and social development. CARICOM reiterates the need for a multi-sectoral approach to address childhood obesity within the larger context of non-communicable diseases. In 2012 children and youth were the focus of the regular meetings of the Council for Human and Social Development held in February and July, where discussion centred on early childhood care and development, youth migration, violence against children, and youth, sport and culture.

NARRATOR: Ambassador Goddard said that the infliction of violence upon children is a horrific and sobering reality across the globe, and it is a phenomenon which is being tackled in the region as a matter of urgency. He drew attention to a CARIOCM meeting earlier this year which reaffirmed the importance of the recommendations of the UN Study, the need to take concrete and strategic actions based on international human rights instruments, and the need to accelerate and monitor progress in preventing and responding to all forms of violence against children.
This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration:  3’14″

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