MoU with Unicef initiates move to make Miri child-friendly city
Posted on : 08 Nov 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Dinoso (centre), Yii on his right and others show the MoU documents on CFCI inked by Unicef and MCC.

MIRI (Nov 1): A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Miri City Council (MCC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) marks the beginning of the journey for Miri to be recognised as a member of Child Friendly Cities Initiatives (CFCI).

According to Unicef Malaysia’s representative Edgar Donoso, the CFCI is an initiative started by Unicef in 1996 with the objective of recognising the commitments by local authorities all around the world to uphold the principles outlined under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The Convention is a promise made by world leaders, including Malaysia, that they will protect the rights of every child,” he said in his address prior to the MoU signing ceremony at Miri City Hall yesterday where he represented Unicef and Mayor Adam Yii, the MCC.

Donoso also said with a global network of more than 3,000 cities, the CFCI would complement the Smart City Proof of Concept, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) initiatives already undertaken by the MCC.

“It is indeed a golden opportunity for Unicef to partner with a local council that has taken such progressive commitments towards ensuring a quality and sustainable living standard for its community, including the children.”

Donoso also noted MCC’s digital platform, ‘Miri CARES’, meant to foster closer interactions between the council and the local community.

In this respect, he said the CFCI recognition could be an example to other local councils on one of the key principles of the initiative: ‘for the voices of the children in the community to be recognised and respected’.

“Other key principles include results for children and elimination of discrimination – all are parts of the SDGs.”

Underlining Unicef’s mandate of ensuring that no child would be left behind, Donoso said during the period when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was in force, Unicef had conducted a study covering low-income households living in the urban areas and discovered that women and children had been the most negatively impacted by the situation.

“Children from low-income families were disproportionately affected with regard to education, health and nutrition.

‘Therefore, as the country is recovering post-Covid-19, more attention and resources need to be accorded to children towards building their resilience against future pandemics and other disasters, as well as long-term threats brought by climate change.”

Donoso also took the opportunity to convey Unicef’s appreciation to the Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development, the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and

Local Government, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Urban Development for their commitment in protecting the rights and enhancing the wellbeing of the children in Sarawak.

“It’s this strategic partnership that has brought all of us together here today for this memorable event. At Unicef, we sincerely hope the strength from our broad network of partners and also our global experience could play a catalytic role in Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030,” he said.

Present to witness the ceremony yesterday were deputy mayor Julaihi Mohamad, acting council secretary Abdul Rahman Taupek, and Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak’s representative Jacintha Olivia Mukin.