Supporting Arab Civil Society for Children
Supporting Civil Society for Children
In confirmation to the role played by civil society as a main partner in the development efforts pertaining to the advancement of childhood conditions, ACCD, in 1990, undertook preparing a Unified Document for Arab Children in cooperation and coordination with LAS and the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENARO). The document was submitted to the World Summit for Children, organized by the United Nations in September 1990, expressing Arab commitments for improving the status of childhood, and forming the basis of the Arab contribution in the drafting of the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, and its Plan of Action, as well as such document presented the first Arab Plan of Action for Child Welfare and Development.
ACCD has contributed in creating joint platforms for the work of the Arab civil society organizations working in the field of childhood, as well as opening channels of communication, partnership and exchange of experiences among them, through holding and supporting the regional meetings, conferences and forums.
Within the framework of preparing for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Childhood, held in New York in May 2002, ACCD held "The First Regional Forum for Civil Society Organizations" from 15 - 19 February 2001 in Rabat, Morocco. ACCD organized this Forum in cooperation with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, the Moroccan National Observatory for Child Rights, and the UNICEF MENARO.
Based on the recommendation issued by the First High Level Arab Conference on Childhood, held in July 2001, that ACCD is to be considered an umbrella for civil society organizations working in the field of childhood, ACCD has thus prepared a document on the role of civil society in activating the Second Decimal Arab Plan for Childhood, issued by the LAS, and was adopted in the High Level Arab Conference held in Tunisia in January 2004.
In confirmation to the importance of the regularity of holding the Forum as a follow-up mechanism, and in continuation to the role of ACCD in coordinating and networking among civil society organizations, ACCD held the Second Forum of Arab Civil Society Organizations for Children, during the period 27th -29th November 2005, in Cairo. The Second Forum was held in cooperation with the Arab Gulf Programme for the United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), the UNICEF MENARO and LAS. A Permanent Secretariat for the Forum has been formed, with its headquarters in the ACCD, and ACCD was selected to be the coordinator of the Secretarial work. Also, an Advisory Committee of five non-governmental organizations from five Arab countries has been formed during the said Forum.
Aiming to activate the recommendations of Cairo Forum, and in commitment to the role of ACCD as a coordinator of the Forum's Secretariat work, ACCD has generated a working agenda, and a website for the forum was designed and launched (www.megdaf.org), to include the news, studies, reports and key events on childhood, in addition to becoming a communication channel among civil society organizations concerned with children. Also, ACCD has established a database to be available on the Forum's website, including civil society organizations working in the field of childhood and data of childhood experts in different areas in the Arab world.
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