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26 Oct 2015

Baranovichi, Orsha, Volkovysk to join Child Friendly City initiative in 2015

BREST, 26 October (BelTA) - Baranovichi, Orsha and Volkovysk will join the global initiative "Child Friendly City" by the end of the year, Victoria Lozyuk, coordinator for children and youth’s health and development, HIV/AIDS prevention at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), told a press conference in the Brest regional youth art center dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, BelTA has learned.

Twenty-two Belarusian cities have joined the Child Friendly City initiative so far. This high status was awarded to Brest in 2014. "We hope that the initiative will expand, and eventually all the cities of the country will become child friendly. New millennium development goals were announced at the UN General Assembly in September. Youth is the driving force who will play a central role in implementing the innovative ideas which should lead to the achievement of these goals in the states,” the UN representative said.

Victoria Lozyuk reported that the Child Friendly program has been implemented in Belarus with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2007. The main objective of this initiative is to establish the most effective dialogue between the authorities and young people with a view to finding joint solutions to urban problems.

According to Victoria Lozyuk, all cities-members of the initiative have set up youth councils and parliaments. Such parliaments have been even created at the oblast level in some places. "I think that there must be such active youth movement at the national level which will be supported by the authorities. UNICEF is ready to provide technical assistance in this,” said Victoria Lozyuk.

Brest is hosting many events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The UN70 Belarus express arrived in the city yesterday to promote the sustainable development goals. The events are attended by representatives of the UN Office in Belarus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic corps, and MPs. The Brest Oblast Youth Art Center is playing host to workshops, exhibitions and presentations. Specialists gathered at school No. 1 to discuss the matters of social integration of people with disabilities. Besides, a session of the youth parliament took place in the Brest City Hall.

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