Country participating in high-level meet on child rights

Kathmandu, November 7

Heads of state and senior leaders from 28 countries of Asia Pacific, including Nepal, are participating in a two-day event ‘A Billion Brains: Smarter Children, Healthier Economies’ being hosted by the government of Malaysia, to discuss ways to advance children’s rights. The event began today.

A statement issued here today by United Nations Children Fund said the meeting seeks to foster South-South cooperation in order to make progress for children. It said, governments will look into three specific areas; social protection, ending violence against children and providing universal healthcare. The discussion will be informed by three expert reports – one on each focus area – and recommendations would be made for future action.

The statement further said that the event is the third high-level meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific. These meetings began as a forum to strengthen children’s rights and establish effective cooperation for the benefit of children across the Asia-Pacific region. The first high-level meeting was hosted in Beijing in 2010 and the second in New Delhi in 2013.

UNICEF is a partner in the HLM process and supports cooperation between countries to promote the fulfilment of children’s rights. It further said that a unique element of the third high-level meeting is the direct inclusion and contribution of young people.

It said that an ‘Innovation Challenge’ was issued prior to the meeting calling for young people to share their ideas to address challenges around the key themes of social protection, ending violence against children, and providing universal healthcare where over 660 submissions were received from across the region and the top three ideas will be presented at the meeting in order to garner support.

A team comprising six Nepali officials led by chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare Ranju Kumari Jha is participating in the event.