9 diciembre, 2013
As I been focused on my region, I could see that we are not used to hear news about Sub-Saharan Africa and that it makes difficult for us to know what it is happening there right now, but if we dig a little bit we can see that there are many issues going on in those countries.
For my International Current Day Observations course I interviewed Blanca Carazo Pérez who works for UNICEF as the head of government of UNICEF Spain in the Emergency Management and Cooperation department.
While talking to her I could appreciate that UNICEF is an organization that has a long history and has managed to achieve different accomplishments through the years, it was created after World War 2 in 1946 by the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations, with the purpose of helping children in Europe. Since the beginning they work with children no matter their race, religion or nationality to protect their rights above all.
One of the most importantly achieves of UNICEF is the adoption of The Convention on the Rights of the Child that was enacted in 1990 but created the 20 of November 1989 and is the world’s most widely ratified international treaty, a treaty in which most countries have signed.
“Is our guide, the one who frames the action of UNICEF worldwide in both developed and developing countries”
Their mission is to protect all the rights of all children that are set out at the Convention. In recent years they have focused on the equity approach for children and especially those who are most in need.
At a working level in developing countries, they make an analysis of the situation of children, raising awareness among the media by giving the message of poverty and how it is affecting children in the developing countries, as any decision on cuts or prioritize one thing over another at a political level, but it must be analyzed from the standpoint of how it affects children, since we are not as aware as we should. Even though they are still having small successes at various levels from the development of the poverty strategy that includes a section for children, commitment to help children.
“Even if it is a slow and insistent progress that involves talking to people and make them proposals, each time we are getting more things done”
In each country there is a UNICEF office who creates a work plan with the government, as they are a United Nations agency the way of working is always in collaboration with governments, so sometimes it is not easy but allows results to have impacts at a large scale and have a sustainability, because they are trying not only to make a program that consists of building schools but in working with the government, so they can ensured that all country’s children attend these schools, these projects are slowly as all governments do not have those resources. These programs are developed for about 3 to 5 years making a series of priorities.
UNICEF has clear priorities and major areas in which they must work, as they are changing their global strategic plan which will be put into force in January 2014 and it is define as the category of child survival: health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, protection, HIV / AIDS. Like the attempt to reduce child mortality since mid are 17,000 children under 5 die daily, to give every single boy or girl an education, bring clear water, fight childhood malnutrition with new ways, end with female genital mutilation.
Another big problem that may seem nonsense and it is very important, is child registration, most African children are not registered civilly and that greatly affects when is the time to do the statistics which are the point of reference of politicians when it comes to make huge decisions.
This International Organization has made a lot of progress through the years and may not seem that far away that they were only helping children in Europe, but it has grown because we helped and we made that possible, people perseverance has made this possible.
Is in our hand to make the difference and start changing the world by doing small things and in that way will be a step forward to progress and we should encourage others to do the same, this interview has shown me that the world need us, and need our help to developed itself.
By: Itziar Pérez de Landazábal García.