We join with the rest of the international community in offering our heartfelt sympathies to the people and Government of Algeria and, indeed, to all humankind. We have seen yet another attack on humanity.
We also recognize the statement made by
the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Legal
Affairs of the
The delegation of the
The care, protection and development of
all our children, in whom lies the future of humanity,
are objectives that demand pride of place on our national and global agendas.
Since the 2002 special session on
children, the Government of Guyana has taken several initiatives to enhance the
well-being of our country’s children and to ensure that
their rights are protected. We have succeeded in reducing child mortality,
while increasing the immunization of children against vaccine-preventable
diseases; immunization currently stands at 92 per cent. Success has been
achieved in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, even as
efforts have been enhanced in the provision and distribution, free of charge,
of locally produced anti-retroviral drugs to those infected with HIV/AIDS.
There are ongoing efforts to provide quality education to children in
The principle of the best interests of the
It is disheartening to note the level of violence in many societies globally. For our part, we have embarked on a campaign to stamp out violence in our society, particularly violence against women and children. That matter is currently the subject of extensive national consultations on the basis of proposals by the Government to reform the law, strengthen protection and improve support and services to victims, while upholding the right of the defendant to a fair trial. Earlier this year, a Child Protection Service was established. The Government of Guyana continues to actively collaborate with UNICEF under the country programme of cooperation 2006-2010 to tackle child protection and welfare issues.
Implementing a world fit for children has not been without challenges and setbacks, some of which are greater than those occasioned by financial and infrastructural constraints. Children across the world are at risk of further suffering on account of the global increase in food and fuel prices and in the cost of living. With internal and domestic conflicts and wars among countries, the innocence and rights of childhood are stolen. More needs to be done to address the scourge of poverty. More needs to be done to protect children from exposure to conflict situations, as well as to provide for their rehabilitation and reintegration into post-conflict societies.
Preserving the natural environment for
posterity is an important dimension of creating a world fit for children. As
reports by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
make clear, human actions are impacting the kind of world our children will
inherit. Renowned economist
Vulnerability can be considered in terms of geographic location and economy, as well as age. In the developed and developing countries alike, it is the children who are most vulnerable. Where climate change leads to disasters, destruction and death, children suffer the most. Many become orphans; many become disabled; many become displaced. Their health is affected, their education is affected, and their entire life is turned upside down.
Global warming and consequent climate
change must be addressed.
From this rostrum, we appeal to world leaders, and indeed all adults, to do everything they can to avoid the road to self-destruction and move our planet onto a path of recovery through massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It will make little sense if we manage to eradicate violence against children on one day and they drown in a mighty flood or starve in a drought or famine on the next. We therefore stress the need for a coherent and comprehensive approach to issues concerning children.