Mayor of Isfahan Signs Declaration of Cologne at the Child Friendly Cities Summit

Mayor of Isfahan along with local leaders from 40 countries expressed their commitment for children’s rights by signing The Declaration of Cologne at the first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne.

Iran (IMNA) - As the world becomes an urban planet, more and more children are counting on their cities and communities to act in favor of their youngest citizens. UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative supports cities and communities worldwide to advance child rights at the local level. Today, the initiative reaches approximately 30 million children in 40 countries worldwide.

A couple of days ago, UNICEF and the City of Cologne hosted the first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne, Germany. The Summit brought together mayors, local leaders, technical experts, children and young people from Child Friendly Cities around the world to discuss innovative approaches to advance child rights through local commitment and to identify and exchange good practices at the local level.

An international Summit – Why?

Childhood happens where children are at home – in their neighborhood, their community, their city. Today, nearly one in three people living in cities and towns is a child. By 2050, almost 7 in 10 of the world’s children will live in cities.

But not all children and young people growing up in towns and cities have the same chances in life. For many children, cities can offer great opportunities and hopes for a better future. For others, the experience is all too often one of poverty, inequality, environmental hazards and even conflict.

The responsibility lies with local governments, civil society and all of us to lay the necessary foundations for cities and communities to fulfil the rights and needs of their youngest citizens.

The summit provides mayors, local leaders and civil society the chance to join hands and develop strategies to make their cities and communities a better place for children and young people.

Only by making cities and communities places where children feel safe, heard, nurtured and able to flourish can we ensure a bright future – for every child.

The first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne

More than 100 mayors from 40 countries signed The Declaration of Cologne at the first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne, to accelerate progress towards improving the lives, opportunities and well-being of children in urban areas. The signatories include the Mayors of Cologne, Germany; Recife, Brazil; Lima, Peru; Barcelona, Spain; Surabaya, Indonesia; Odessa, Ukraine; Kollet, Guinea; Iran, Isfahan and Montpellier, France, among others. 

To realize these goals, mayors committed to demonstrating concrete, sustainable and measurable results for children; advancing meaningful and inclusive child participation; and eliminating discrimination against children and young people in policies and actions.

“This declaration provides guidance on the central role that cities can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by creating thriving and equitable cities where children live in healthy, safe, inclusive, green and prosperous communities. Let us commit not only to listening to children and young people. Let’s support them. Let’s take action with them. Let’s follow their lead,” said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. 

Organized by UNICEF with the support of the City of Cologne, the first-ever Child Friendly Cities Summit united mayors, local leaders, technical experts, children and young people from around the world to enhance child rights at the local level.

“It is our action at local government level that have a huge influence on children’s lives and well-being. Yet many local politicians and leaders tend not to be aware that they too can and must help ensure that children’s rights, wishes and needs are respected and taken into account. Today we are sending a strong message to cities and communities around the world that we can make a difference to the lives of children and young people,” said Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne.

The commitment was built on a manifesto called “Our cities. Our lives. Our future” presented in the summit by children and young people. The manifesto defines how cities can bring children to the forefront and accelerate progress towards the children-related goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

“Children, youth, parents and community together can create an environment for everyone,” said Breanna a 18-year old from Belize, member of the Child Friendly Cities Summit’s Child and Youth Advisory Board.

The Declaration of Cologne entails the following goals for a child-friendly city:

· Every child and young person is valued, respected and treated fairly within their communities and by local authorities;

· Every child and young person has their voice, needs and priorities heard and considered in public laws, policies, budgets and decisions affecting them;

· Every child and young person has access to quality essential services (including health care, education, nutrition support, early childhood development, justice and family support);

· Every child and young person lives in a safe, healthy and clean environment;

· Every child and young person has opportunities to enjoy family life, play and leisure.

Mayor of Isfahan, Ghodratollah Norouzi, along with local leaders from 40 countries expressed their commitment for children’s rights by signing The Declaration of Cologne at the first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne.


Source: UNICEF

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