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Opinions & Interviews

29 Aug 2018

Belarus hailed as example for other countries in creating child-friendly environment

Belarus hailed as example for other countries in creating child-friendly environment

MOGILEV, 29 August (BelTA) - Belarus is becoming a model for other countries in terms of developing the child-friendly environment, UNICEF representative in Belarus Rashed Mustafa Sarwar said ahead of the plenary session of the forum “City friendly to children and teenagers: from initiatives to the platform to localize the Sustainable Development Goals,” BelTA has learned.

“We are happy to see that the efforts we have taken together with the government and local authorities have led to positive results, such as the creation of a platform for cities friendly to children and teenagers. Belarus is becoming an example to follow for other countries who would like to establish a similar platform and willing to learn from the vast experience of Belarusian cities in this matter,” Rashed Mustafa Sarwar said.

The transition from the initiative to the platform cities friendly to children and teenagers will help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level while children and teenagers will be able to take part in their fulfillment together with the local authorities. “Thus teenage and youth initiatives will have an opportunity to gain more voice and promote the SDGs in the future,” he noted.

The two-day forum has gathered in Mogilev representatives from 25 cities participating in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative. “I am sure that the forum will be creative, productive and will help strengthen the ties between cities, teenage and youth parliaments throughout the country, and that each participant will gain a memorable and positive experience from this forum. I hope that the forum will adopt an important document defining the future strategy of action to create a new quality of life in child-friendly cities,” Rashed mustafa Sarwar noted.

He suggested holding such forums annually in different regions of Belarus.

The project to implement Child Friendly Cities Initiative was launched in Belarus in 2007. Svetlogorsk in Gomel Oblast became the first town where the local authorities, state and non-state organizations and agencies expressed their willingness to join efforts and make the city more friendly to children and youth with the support of UNICEF. Over time 24 more cities joined the initiative. These are Pinsk, Pruzhany, Dobrush, Borisov, Lida, Grodno, Gomel, Brest, Polotsk, Novopolotsk, Mozyr, Novogrudok, Zhodino, Molodechno, Soligorsk, Slutsk, Kostyukovichi, Gorki, Shklov, Mogilev, Minsk, Baranovichi, Orsha, and Volkovysk.

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