Provinces and municipalities signed agreements with UNICEF to strengthen the rights of children and adolescents

The governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kissilof, signed this morning a framework cooperation agreement with the UNICEF representative in Argentina, Luisa Brumana, to strengthen actions aimed at guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents. It was in the Golden Room of the Government Building, in an act in which 12 municipalities of Buenos Aires signed their accession to the program of the United Municipality for Children and Adolescents (MUNA). Ministers of Community Development, Andres Larocque; and Health, Nicholas Kreplak; the general director of culture and education Alberto Sileoni and the deputy representative of the agency Olga Isaza.

“This agreement is another step that will generate a qualitative difference in the work we do to guarantee the rights of children and adolescents in the province of Buenos Aires,” Kitchiloff said, adding: “It is very important for us to have with UNICEF, which is a world authority, to add its experience in other countries, to give advice and to deepen cooperation”.

In this sense, the governor indicated that “UNICEF will work with the provincial ministries to evaluate many of the programs already underway, giving them greater visibility and guaranteeing international quality standards.” “These initiatives are included in the Social Pact we presented weeks ago, demonstrating once again that children and adolescents are a priority for the province,” he said.

The framework agreement signed between the province and UNICEF seeks to promote joint activities aimed at reducing poverty and territorial inequalities; promoting early childhood development; and generating equal opportunities for adolescents.

Meanwhile, Brumana stressed that “this is a culmination of the dialogue that we had between UNICEF and the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, in which we worked together with all the ministries that have a major role in addressing policies for boys, girls and adolescents, to establish what are the possible lines of action and cooperation”. “From the MUNA initiative, UNICEF will work directly with municipalities, in coordination with the province, with the aim of putting children at the center of investments and public policies,” he added.

The purpose of MUNA is to accompany regional governments in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies aimed at guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents. For this purpose, strategies are being planned to strengthen the management capacity of local teams and political coordination mechanisms; formulate and create alliances with non-governmental actors; implementing a better allocation of resources; creating spaces for participation and consultation; and promoting awareness and communication actions.

“We join forces to help reduce poverty and territorial inequalities; provides comprehensive care for up to six years; creating equal opportunities for adolescents; and eliminating violence from all places where children’s daily lives take place,” Isaza said, adding: “MUNA is a strategy to improve municipal governance for the benefit of children and adolescents, generating a collaborative network that now has 9 provinces and 86 municipalities in Argentina”.

During the day, the agreements were signed by the mayors of Lomas de Zamora, Marina Lesky; de Merlot, Carina Menendez; and by Kilmes, Mayra Mendoza; and the mayors of Almirante Brown, Juan Jose Fabiani; by Berriso, Fabian Caliardi; by Bragado, Vicente Gatica; by Carlos Casares, Daniel Stadnik; of Ezeiza, Gaston Granados; from San Martin, Fernando Moreira; by Marcos Paz, Ricardo Curutchet; by Villa Hezel, Gustavo Barrera; and by Zarate, Osvaldo Cafaro. At this stage, the parties of Esteban Echeverria, Florencio Varela, San Miguel, Malvinas Argentina, Moron, La Matanza, Bahía Blanca, Bolivar and Balcarce also joined.

Finally, Kitchiloff noted: “With the MUNA program, the transversal approach of articulation with all the municipalities of Buenos Aires deepens: our intention is for the province to be actively involved in order to continue to provide feedback along the lines of collaborative work.” “We will continue to bet on the integration between the governments of the nation, the province and the municipalities, and of the cooperation with the private sector and the free organizations of the people: this is what we call an organized community”, he concluded.

As part of the programme, municipalities receive advice, tools and training provided specifically by UNICEF, while committing to self-diagnosis of the situation of children and adolescents in each country; coordination with national and provincial governments, developing a comprehensive participatory action plan with a focus on rights; and report annually to the community and UNICEF on their progress.

Also present were the executive director of the Provincial Agency for Children and Adolescents, German Urman; Undersecretaries for Mental Health, Problem Use and Gender-Based Violence, Julieta Calmels; on social policies, Juliana Petreigne; of Education, Claudia Bracci; and criminal liability of minors, Viviana Arcidiacono; provincial deputies Lucía Iañez and Mariana Larroque; Buenos Aires lawmaker Cesar Valicenti; and the president of Grupo Provincia, Gustavo Menendez.

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