Parliamentary Leadership

Friday, 20 November 2009

Address by the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia , Mr. Trajko Veljanoski on the occasion of the ratification of the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement with the Representative of UNICEF in the Republic of Macedonia , Mr. Sheldon Yett

Distinguished Members of the Parliament,
Distinguished Ministers,
Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen Dear Friends

20 years ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international document which is part of the national legislative of many countries in the world. I would like to remind you that Macedonia ratified this Convention on December 2nd 1993.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We all say that the children are our greatest treasure, but I wonder what we have done in the area of their rights. The children are the most vulnerable category and their rights are constantly violated, in the most cruel manner and form. We are appalled when we hear of child molestation, child slavery as workforce or child soldiers. I mentioned only the most severe cases, although there are many other I would say more sophisticated forms of violation of children’s rights, and perhaps this is the reason it is difficult to identify. This is a global problem, and like all global we should start resolving it first in our own backyard. 
If we look at the Macedonian legislation, which protects the rights of the child directly or indirectly, we can point out that the spirit and the principles of the Convention are transposed into the domestic legislation. On the other hand, there are examples of violations of child’s right, unfortunately including most severe cases such as child’s molestation. Certainly the institutions, especially the executive and the judicial authorities, are undertaking all measures for identification and sanctioning, but we are all aware that prevention is more efficient than the sanctions.

The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, beside adoption of laws and other acts, controls the implementation and execution of the adopted laws, which is a principle of parliamentary democracy.
This is the reason why today we are signing the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement with UNICEF, aimed at promoting the protection of the rights of the children in our country.

This cooperation will strengthen the role of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in the exercise of the rights of the children. Special emphasis will be given to the analyses of the relevant proposals and the existing laws, as well as to the control of the implementation of the adopted policies and strategies, and the adoption of the budget, i.e. the funds needed for protection of rights of the child.

The key activities deriving from this Agreement include establishment of Parliamentary Management Board for the Rights of the Children, whose primary goal will be control of the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement and participation in initiatives for promotion of their rights, which would support the goals of the Agreement.

Also, the Assembly will establish a working group on the rights of the children in the framework of the Committee on Labour and Social Policy, which beside looking into the possibility for transforming this body into a permanent committee, shall have the obligation to ensure that interests of the children are taken into account during the adoption of laws, in the budget allocations and other parliamentary debates, which will be in accordance with the UN Convention on the Right of the Child.

This Agreement stipulates other activities - from exchange of experiences with Parliaments from European countries, public debates, round tables, conferences dedicated to important issues regarding the rights of the children.
Today, with this agreement, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia is taking an important step forwards in the protection of the rights of the children.

I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to the UNICEF Office and its Representative Mr. Sheldon Yer, and to wish all of us consistent realization of the accepted tasks. 


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