May 21, 2015, 9:52 AM
Speaking at the ceremony held at NaNA hall in Kanifing, Dr Meritxell Relano, UNICEF deputy representative to The Gambia and officer in charge, said the event was a milestone in the fruitful collaboration between Unicef and the National Assembly.
She said that other milestones were the adoption of the Children’s Act of 2005 and the Women’s Act of 2010, which were made possible through the partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the Women’s Bureau under the office of the Vice President, as well as the dialogue on pro-poor and child friendly budgeting conducted in 2007.
According to her, these historic achievements are due in large part to the efforts of National Assembly members.
“The Gambia National Assembly has also contributed to this global process, and continues to focus on legislative, policy and budget reforms to make the lives of children happier and more enriched,” she said.
She said the National Assembly has the power to create real and lasting change for children.
“It can allocate resources from national budgets, establish strong policy directions, and debate, shape and enforce laws that protect children,” she said.
“It can ask tough questions, demand answers and hold the government, the private sector and the civil society accountable when you, honorable National Assembly Members, speak on behalf of children of The Gambia, your voices resonate.”
She reiterates and reaffirms Unicef’s commitment to partnering with and providing technical assistance to the National Assembly, the Government of The Gambia and civil society in performing a very challenging, but indeed rewarding task to significantly improve the lives of children, protect their rights and respond to their needs.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta, majority leader, also spoke at the ceremony, while Momodou Sise, deputy clerk of the National Assembly, chaired the occasion.