The Forum was held in the Moroccan city of Rabat, under the auspices of H.M. King Mohammed the Sixth of Morocco, from 15 - 19 February 2001. The Forum was organized by ACCD, the Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunisia, the Moroccan National Observatory of Child Rights in Morocco, and the UNICEF Regional Office in Jordan.
ALarge number of civil society members and organizations participated in the five-day Forum, including thinkers, experts, professionals in the fields of education, sociology, economics along with artists, media specialists and prominent figures in the Arab region, in addition to childhood supporting agencies in the Arab countries, technology experts, parliamentarians, physicians, activists in the field of human rights and justice advocates and defenders. Promising elements among members of the Moroccan children and youth parliament also took part in the Forum during which researchers presented their papers through its seven working sessions and ten parallel panel discussions.
Objectives of the Forum:
Reviewing the developments and achievements made for child welfare in the Arab region over the last decade of the twentieth century.
Recognizing the Arab status of child welfare.
Developing frameworks and adopting priorities of Arab child-welfare amid all the challenges faced by the region, in addition to discussing work mechanisms and coordination essentials.
Expanding the scope of partnership and acquiring new partners among the parties concerned with Arab childhood issues, as well as developing the bases of collaboration and coordination among these parties.
The importance of the Forum:
This Forum stemed its importance from the following considerations:
The Forum addressed all organizations of civil society and not only those organizations concerned with childhood, aiming at creating new frameworks of partnership among its activities.
The Forum has given a special attention to the priorities of future work for childhood, that were proposed in the first decade of the twenty-first century. These priorities seek to create a social movement concerned with childhood issues in the new century.
The Forum is considered a serious critical attempt to criticize the contributions of the civil society organizations in the field of developing the conditions of Arab childhood.
The Forum was preceded by some government meetings, a matter that granted its reports and recommendations a special importance, whether with reference to the distribution of responsibilities and roles among governments and civil society organizations or in promoting the role of partners in the improvement of Arab childhood status.
The Forum proposed the general directives meant to improve the conditions of Arab children at all levels within a strategic vision that considers the different types of scientific and technological progress.
The final recommendations of the Forum have embodied the points of discussion raised by the international movement concerned with childhood issues, in addition to providing proposals regarding the roles and follow-up mechanisms of the civil society organizations for child welfare. The participating parties have also stressed the importance of working through coordination and partnership therein, and to stimulate governments to adhere to the Convention and work towards enhancing the rights of Arab children. ACCD has issued the final report of the Forum, and circulated it among the participants and institutions concerned with childhood.
Towards a New Decade for the Arab Child: An Arab call was announced, during the Forum, that urged all the effective figures and Arab concerned institutions, to work towards the adoption of this Declaration. The aim was to expand the partnership base of working towards developing Arab Childhood through the preparation of a new decade. This Declaration was initiated by HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdel Aziz, President of ACCD, HRH Princess Lalla Mariam, President of the Moroccan National Observatory of Child Rights and Mrs. Baheya Al-Hariri, a member in the Lebanese Parliament and Vice- President of Al-Hariri Foundation.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that upon a recommendation issued by the First High Level Arab Conference on Childhood, held in July 2001, ACCD is considered to be an umbrella for civil society organizations working in the field of childhood. Moreover, 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, in 2005.
The Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) is an Arab non-governmental development organization that has a legal entity and operating in the field of childhood under the presidency of HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz. ACCD was founded in 1987 upon the initiative of the late HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz...read more