September 08, 2017
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) yesterday urged the religious communities of South Asia to tackle key challenges related to children.
“With religious communities in South Asia having extensive networks and moral influence throughout the region, their potential to tackle some of these challenges and achieve real results for children is highly advantageous,” said UNICEF in its press release.
This statement by UNICEF came on the last day (yesterday) of the two-day South Asia regional conference, held in Kathmandu from September 5-7, 2017.
UNICEF launched the first South Asia Religious Leaders’ Platform for Children, in Kathmandu on September 5, 2017 amid the participation of almost 30 influential personalities and key representatives from various religious communities across South Asia.
In his inaugural address, Regional Director of UNICEF South Asia Jean Gough called on the religious communities to collaborate with UNICEF in its efforts towards child welfare.
“Religious communities continue to be our indispensable partner, especially in our focus on reaching the poorest, most vulnerable and hardest to reach children and families. If we can fully tap the enormous potential of our partnerships by building on each other’s strengths, we can achieve tremendous results for children,” said Jean Gough.
In his conference-concluding remarks yesterday, Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF South Asia Philippe Cori said, “We, at UNICEF, will now proactively nurture and expand this network of religious communities. We will also ensure that the discussion carries beyond the meeting room and find ways to translate our commitment to child rights into results, for every child in South Asia.”
This regional meeting is being seen as a major milestone in bringing various issues related to children, belonging to South Asia, to an open discussion.
Through this launch, UN aims at creating a platform for knowledge-sharing among religious communities and further plan concrete actions for children in the region, the statement informed.