UNICEF Executive Director Ms. Ann M. Veneman addressing Members of Parliament on “Children’s Development: Challenges Facing India”
New Delhi, 9 December 2005: UNICEF Executive Director Ms. Ann M. Veneman, currently on a visit to India, today delivered the fourth lecture in the series for Members of Parliament on “Children’s Development: Challenges Facing India” in the Main Committee Hall of Parliament Library Building in New Delhi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, in his introductory remarks, urged the legislators to earnestly address the issues concerning children. He said that a “Parliamentary Forum on Children” had been constituted with the hope that more and more Parliamentarians, and through them the society as a whole, would come together to address the critical issues affecting our children’s well-being.
“Voice of the parliamentarians has a unique resonance. They are champions of children”
Ms. Ann M. Veneman also stressed the importance of the role of parliamentarians. “Voice of the parliamentarians has a unique resonance. They are champions of children”, she said.
India, a forerunner in the global economy and world affairs has to make a substantial contribution for the development and protection of children, she said.
Emphasizing the need to educate children, especially the girl child, Ms. Ann M. Veneman said that education is the key for eradicating poverty and its disproportionate impact on women and children. While expressing dismay on the fact that too many Indian children are being the easy targets of violence, abuse and exploitation, Ms. Veneman said “Let us first allow our children to go to school and complete schooling”.
Ms. Veneman also urged the parliamentarians to work for the cause of an AIDS free society. Recalling the slogan “Unite for children, Unite against HIV”, Ms. Ann M. Veneman said that the disease is an issue of humanity. She also recalled with pride the relationship between UNICEF and the world’s largest democracy, India.
The lecture, followed by a lively interaction, was well attended by MPs, representatives from UNICEF, NGOs, media persons and others.