Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Anthony represents Australia at East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Children

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, leaves Australia today to lead the Australian delegation at the 6th East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Children, being held in Bali between 5 and 7 May.

The meeting is co-ordinated by UNICEF and will bring together representatives from the region, including Japan, Indonesia and Korea. Held every two years, the meeting provides an opportunity for these countries to review their progress towards achieving the goals of the World Summit for Children and discuss issues relating to advancing the interests of children in the region.

“This meeting will focus on four major areas of:

  • reducing maternal and neonatal mortality;
  • combating malnutrition;
  • protecting children from commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking; and,
  • combating HIV/AIDS for children and young people.

“It is hoped participants at this meeting will adopt the draft Bali Consensus on Partnerships with and for Children in the East Asia and Pacific Region document as the regional plan of action towards meeting the goals and targets in the UN Special Session outcomes document, A World Fit for Children.

A World Fit for Children promotes healthy lives and quality education for children, protecting children from abuse, exploitation and violence and combating HIV/AIDS.

“Trying to give the children of our region a good start and better life chances is what the meeting is all about. I’m pleased to be able to promote the steps Australia is taking, particularly the development of a National Agenda for Early Childhood,” Mr Anthony said.

The Consultation will be opened on Monday by President of Indonesia,
HE Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri. Mr Anthony will present Australia’s country statement on Monday at 2.40pm local time (5.40pm EST).

Australia has contributed $5million in core funding to UNICEF for 2002-03. This places Australia among a minority of donors that increased contributions over previous years.

UNICEF are the secretariat for the meeting, coordinating the agenda and presentations and this year the overarching imperative at the meeting will be to improve the quality of, and equal access to, education for children.