Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, instructed the Council to prepare this strategy through a resolution, issued in accordance with the cabinet's endorsement of the Emirati Children's Day.
The preparation of the strategy indicates the leadership's continuous efforts encouraging the contributions of mothers, children, youth and children of determination in building the society and empowering them in all cultural, knowledge and health sectors in addition to different aspects of care and protection, environment, infrastructure and services.
The preparation of the strategy also falls under the work plan of the cooperation program signed by the Supreme Council for Motherhood & Childhood with UNICEF for Early Childhood Development program, entitled "First thousand days".
The strategy is based on the international standards adopted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF. It seeks to include the rights of mothers, children and adolescents as a key component of development trends, objectives, policies, initiatives and projects, to provide support and opportunities for maternal health care, providing appropriate environments in public places, and to work with mothers and children.
The strategy aims to focus on children in age groups and will adopt the WHO initiative and UNICEF Global Initiative on Child-Friendly Cities and Hospitals; it contributes to the creation of an integrated system framework that includes various ministries, federal and local government agencies and departments, and civil society organizations working for mothers, children and adolescents.
The announcement of the new strategy coincided with the UAE's first celebration in March of "Emirati Children's Day", which aims to raise the community's awareness about children's rights as stipulated by the Wadima law, which aims to spread the culture of children's rights. These are rights related to the provision of a safe and stable life, where the Wadima Law is an important milestone in the protection of the rights of the child, ensuring a healthy, safe and supportive environment for children and enhancing their awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities within the family, society and at the national level, instilling respect for pluralism, tolerance, tolerance and solidarity between children, thus, preparing a happy generation, active socially and economically.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has extended many outstanding contributions, initiatives and projects in the past years in support of mothers, children and adolescents not only in the UAE but also in the Arab world as a whole. These contributions will serve as a basis for enhancing the chances of gender balance by giving them greater opportunities to participate alongside men and to prove their merit by serving their country and consolidating the pillars of its advancement.
The Council and its strategic partner UNICEF, had signed the action plan program 2018 for Early Childhood Development program entitled "thousand days".
Rym Abdullah Al Falasy, Secretary General of The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, stated that Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak had directed to commence this program for Children's benefit.
She added, this program will have two primary objectives; first: it is for all children in the UAE to develop their potential, gain quality services in health care, nutrition and early education - the main activities for this objective are: 1) Develop an electronic application (Android & IOS) containing information generated by a group of international experts in the areas of child care and development 2) Early Childhood Development, 1000 Days, Training Package, Training of Trainers in this field.
3) Hold workshops to train trainers and senior health care personnel targeting state-level practitioners.
4) Develop awareness messages to promote early childhood development and ensure that they reach the largest number of parents in all seven emirates.
The Council's Secretary General pointed out that the second main objective of this program is developing the "UAE mother, child & youth friendly" national strategy promoting the UAE to a mother-friendly, child-friendly and youth-friendly country.
Shahida Azfar, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, who signed the plan earlier, and Al Tayeb Adam - UNICEF Representative for the Arab Gulf States - commended the Council for the generous and continuous support provided by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak to all child and motherhood programs in the country, which advanced women and children to high levels of development and well-being.
Shahida Azfar also commended the active role of the Council and its Secretary General Rym Al-Falasy in coordinating and implementing health, education, social and cultural programs, and other governmental and non-governmental institutions working in the fields of motherhood and childhood.
Al Tayeb Adam - UNICEF Representative for the Arab Gulf States - thanked Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for supporting UNICEF programs in the United Arab Emirates and for her generous patronage of the strategic partnership with The Supreme Council for Motherhood & Childhood.
He emphasized UNICEF's continued commitment to strengthening it's partnership through joint programs and projects; adding that the Plan of Action includes the Early Childhood Development Program, which aims to make sure that all children in the UAE acquire their developmental potential through access to quality services in health, nutrition, early education and a program to develop an integrated national strategy that makes the UAE mother, child, and youth friendly.
The Council and UNICEF will implement the action plan under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, with the participation of ministries, government entities, organizations, associations and academic institutions in the UAE.