At the invitation of Ziroat Mirziyoyeva, Uzbekistan's First Lady, Shen Yueyue, Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and President of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), attended and delivered a speech virtually to the International Forum "Ensuring Children's Rights to a Healthy Environment," which was held on November 17, 2022. The forum was cohosted by the Zamin International Public Foundation and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) Office in Uzbekistan. The purpose of the forum, dedicated to World Children's Day (November 20), was to advocate for the protection of children's right to live in a healthy environment.
Shen said the success of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) drew a magnificent blueprint for building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects, and for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Shen quoted several points that Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, addressed in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress. Those points included: "Improving the people's wellbeing and raising quality of life;" "We will remain committed to the fundamental national policy of gender equality and protect the lawful rights and interests of women and children;" "Developing education that meets the people's expectations;" and, "Foster a new generation of young people to shoulder the mission of realizing national rejuvenation." Shen said those points fully revealed the great importance attached by the CPC to women and children's cause, and they have firmly safeguarded children's healthy growth and all-round development.
Shen noted both the CPC and Chinese Government always adhere to the child-priority principle, and have made great efforts to build an enabling environment for children to reach development in all respects. During the first decade of the new era, in particular, with Chinese President Xi's emphasis and leadership, the development of Chinese children achieved historic progress; the system of laws and policies on the protection of children's rights were improved; the work mechanism for all segments of society to love and care for children was perfected; and, children in China began to live in a healthier and better social environment, Shen explained.
Shen stressed all humans form a community with a shared future, and the international community must work together to eliminate negative impacts from the environment, so all children can achieve healthy development, enjoy a happy childhood and live under the sunlight. Shen expressed a willingness to work with all countries, including Uzbekistan, to implement the child-priority principle, establish and perfect a mechanism to advance child-priority development, and to continuously strengthen the awareness of protecting children's rights.
Importance should be attached to the natural and residential environment's impact on children, Shen added, child-friendly cities and communities need to be constructed more quickly to improve children's living and social environment. Shen also mentioned the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the practice of child-development-related Sustainable Development Goals to promote children's development worldwide.
Other distinguished speakers who addressed the forum's opening ceremony included: Mirziyoyeva; Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme; Otani Mikiko, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; and Helga Schmid, Secretary General for the European External Action Service. More than 200 representatives from Asian and European countries, UN agencies, regional organizations and international foundations attended, either online or in person.
World Children's Day is celebrated annually on November 20 to promote international togetherness and awareness of protecting children's rights and improving children's welfare and education.
(Women of China English Monthly)
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