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United Nations General Assembly
Agenda item: 63
“Promotion and Protection
of the Rights of Children”
MS. OCHIR ENKHTSETSEG
DEPARTMENT OF MULTILATERAL COOPERATION
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MONGOLIA
October 12, 2006
My delegation feels encouraged by the findings of the report of the Secretary-General contained in the document A/61/270 on the progress achieved in realizing the commitments set out in the final document of the twenty-seventh special session of the General Assembly, entitled “A World Fit for Children”. Implementation of this Plan of Action will ensure a major boost towards fulfilling our commitments under the MDGs. The report notes that 177 countries have incorporated the goals of the Special session into their national development strategies, including specific plans of action on children.
Mongolia, for one, has developed the National Plan of Action for the Protection and Development of Children for the period 2002-2010 tailoring to the national context the goals set at the 27th General Assembly Special session. In line with this plan of action and the child-related MDGs, the UNICEF Country Program for Mongolia for the upcoming five years was approved at the second regular session of the Executive Board of the UNICEF last month.
Mongolia stands committed to the implementation of the Convention on Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols. We believe that they provide a comprehensive framework for the protection of children’s rights. However, mere ratification is not enough. Domestication and implementation of major provisions of the Convention and its Protocols, in the final analysis, serve as a demonstration of our commitment to the protection of children’s rights. In addition to the adoption and enforcement of the National Law on the Protection of the Child and the Law on Domestic Violence, the Government of Mongolia approved the “National Plan of Action on Trafficking and Protection of Children and Women from Commercial Sexual Exploitation” last November. Although trafficking in human beings constitutes a comparatively new phenomenon in Mongolia the plan of action aims at preventing its spread through creation of a relevant legal environment, increased awareness-raising and improved protection and rehabilitation of its victims.
Current discussion of the issue of the protection of children signals the importance of the direct involvement of children and youth in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of child-related strategies. We in Mongolia have proceeded with institutionalization of child and youth participation when the Government convened last March a national consultative meeting to discuss a draft National Policy Framework on Child and Youth Participation. Participants included all the major stakeholders and decision-makers, i.e. high officials from the relevant Ministries and agencies, Members of Parliament, local Governors, NGOs, international organizations and most importantly children themselves.
The National Policy Framework aims at creating an enabling social, cultural and political environment that supports and facilitates child and youth participation in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of all child-related strategies. It would also ensure provision of all the necessary information to children and youth to enable them to know their own rights and make informed choices as well as create an environment where their voices are heard and opinions are respected in families, schools and communities. This would entail a major change in the attitude and mindset of adults. To this end, the Framework places particular emphasis on parenting education, and the orientation and training of all professionals working with children, including parliamentarians, judges, magistrates, lawyers, law enforcement officials, teachers, health and social workers and local governors. The National Policy Framework is currently being finalized to reflect all the substantive ideas and proposals emerged at the consultative meeting. We believe that once adopted and implemented the fundamental right of children and youth – the right of participation – will be institutionalized and enforced in practice.
Another example of our efforts to enhance the participation of children and youth could be evidenced from a national Summit held in November last year to address and assess the progress of implementation of the recommendations made by the UN CRC Committee in response to my Government’s second periodic report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. All the major stakeholders, including children from all over the country discussed in an inclusive and participatory manner the progress made and challenges faced in the implementation of the CRC. Broad involvement of all the stakeholders, including children themselves, in the identification of challenges and formulation of their solution, will undoubtedly help reinforce our concerted efforts to achieve the goals and objectives of both CRC and 27th UNGA Special session on children.
My Government is also undertaking a number of quick-impact initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting the children’s rights, including provision of a monthly allowance to each and every child in Mongolia, which accounts for 1 million, i.e. almost half of the entire population, offer of one-time monetary support to newly-weds and new born children as well as introduction of a free school meals program for elementary school children starting from this academic year.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, may I reiterate my Government’s strong resolve to spare no effort to implement the goals and objectives envisioned in the Declaration and Plan of Action through the national effort and cooperation with our bilateral and multilateral development partners.
I thank you.