Third Annual Child Friendly Cities Conference Held in Kathmandu

Third third conference on child-friendly cities concluded in Kathmandu on Saturday, and ended with the issuance of a draft declaration with four key points on ‘Child-Friendly Governance’.

Kul Chandra Gautam, former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, called child-friendly local governance an ‘essential ingredient of good governance’ during his keynote speech, and called for an increased focus on urban poverty.

The issued declaration states that a child friendly city shall recognise the importance of local governance, ensure meaningful participation of children, engage in continuous monitoring and evaluation of its progress and promote an integrated planning for sustainable development.

The three-day gathering ended with an understanding that all participating countries will call on governments, private sector and civil society in implementing the four points. The meeting had participants from 19 countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia,  Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Spain and Thailand.

It also agreed that all the participating countries will formalise the declaration in coordination with respective governments within 15 days. The programme was organised by Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Unicef and Child Friendly Asia Pacific Network with the support of local organisations.

Adapted from ‘The Kathmandu Post’ 29 June 2013