“Wellbeing of children is a top priority for the Government of Turkmenistan. With signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Turkmenistan made a commitment twenty years ago to protect and promote the rights of its youngest citizens,” said Vepa Hajyyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the high level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the CRC. “We reaffirm that commitment today,” stated V.Hajyyev.
The meeting hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support of UNICEF, highlighted the progress since the country ratified the CRC. It also stressed out the unfinished business in advancing the child rights agenda. The meeting reaffirmed the relevance of the CRC, and pointed the way forward in realizing rights for the most excluded children in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. High level government officials, national partners, UN and other development agencies, civil society, media, diplomatic missions and children themselves attended the meeting.
“Gains in implementing the child rights are impressive and important. They prove that common goals and shared efforts can drive real change for children on the global, national and local levels,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. “The CRC anniversary must also serve as an urgent reminder of the millions of children globally we have not yet reached. We should find new ways of reaching them, and putting equity and children’s rights at the centre of agenda for all children, including the most vulnerable,” she added.
UNICEF launched the 2015 State of the World’s Children Report “Reimagine the Future: Innovation for every child” at the meeting. The report reflects on new ideas and creative solutions for solving key challenges to fully realize the rights of the children.
“Children and youth are important partners in development. Despite our differences, we have many things in common. We want quality education and healthcare, as well as opportunities to express our views. We want children with difference abilities to be fully included in our societies,” said Dunya Gurbanova and Nurgeldi Ushmekov at the meeting. Dunya and Nurgeldi represented Turkmenistan at the last year General Assembly special event on International Youth Voices in post-2015 world.
The high level meeting is one of the events organized to celebrate the CRC anniversary. All children born on 20 November 2014 will receive a congratulatory letter. Media representatives participated at the briefing to better understand the CRC issues and planned activities. Schoolchildren reflected their understanding of the CRC through the drawings, which were exhibited during the high level meeting. Educators and researchers gained knowledge on inclusive education at the Ministry of Education and UNICEF organized international conference. UNICEF will also organize an interactive discussion on child rights issues with students and faculty of international development studies.