Thu 07-06-2018 15:35 PM
SHARJAH, June 7, 2018 (WAM) -- The Sharjah Baby-Friendly Office, SBFO, was recently invited by UNICEF Ukraine to share the emirate’s leading example in building a community that is nurturing and sensitive towards the needs of its children and youth at the International Forum on Child and Youth Friendly Municipalities in Kyiv.
Speaking at the conference hosted by UNICEF Ukraine, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Government, Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of the SBFO, told the 150 guests in attendance including Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine, city mayors, local development stakeholders, and international organisation representatives that children and the youth must be every government’s top priority.
Dr. Al Ghazal delivered a detailed presentation on the status of children and youth, and the level of child-care in Sharjah to representatives from around 140 municipalities in Ukraine, who have declared their interest in the initiative, and to the cities applying for the candidate status of the Child and Youth-Friendly Community initiative, explaining ways in which these institutions can build their own child and youth-friendly strategies.
She also reviewed programmes implemented by the SBFO in cooperation with the emirate’s municipality, businesses and civil society within the framework of the Sharjah Baby-Friendly campaign, which contributed to Sharjah being named the first "Baby-Friendly City" in the world in 2015 by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and UNICEF.
Dr. Al Ghazal said, "As one global community working to secure the present and future welfare of our children and youth, it is inspiring to know that more than 3,000 municipalities in 38 countries worldwide, home to about 30 million children, have pledged themselves to the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative. While every country’s vision to become more approachable and accessible to their young citizens is unique, such forums hold immense value as they allow us to exchange personal experiences, discuss challenges and take home valuable lessons.
"For 40 years, under the astute guidance of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, we have been relentless in our efforts to fulfil every condition necessary to making Sharjah a leading example of a city where the voices of the youth are important, and where children can enjoy their rights to education, health and leisure fully. After having come a considerable way forward in ensuring a healthy environment for our children through the establishment of best practices in the field, one of our main objectives is to share our insights and experiences with the international community striving towards similar goals."