Celebration of the Day of the African Child in Kinshasa
Kinshasa, 17 June 2013 - The Joint Technical Working Group in charge of the implementation of the Action Plan to prevent and stop the recruitment and use of children by armed groups organized an official ceremony in the Congolese capital Kinshasa on 17 June 2013, to commemorate the Day of the African Child. The event was attended by senior government officials, as well as highly ranking military representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, and the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in charge of the rule of law.
In her speech, the representative of the Ministry of Gender, Family and the Child, recalled the origins of the Day of the African Child, before stressing the multi-faceted fight against the recruitment and use of children and sexual violence, two phenomena that have tarnished the image of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in charge of the Rule of Law in the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), Mr. Abdallah Wafy, commended the government for the commitment shown towards the implementation of the Action Plan, notably, the signing of directives and other ongoing efforts. He pledged continuous UN support in this process, and urged the government and its partners to continue working and taking concrete actions to address these challenges.
The Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Defense congratulated the Joint Technical Working Group for organizing the event. He recounted the background leading to the signing of the Action Plan as well as the achievements to date, including the setting up of the Joint Technical Working Group, the finalization of its terms of reference along with the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the signing of directives, and the development of a communication strategy. He pledged for a continued commitment of the government towards the implementation of the Action Plan.
The ceremony ended with the presentation of the Goodwill Ambassadors and a play on the recruitment and use of children by elements of the armed forces and other groups.
William Lifongo/ MONUSCO