UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Karin Hulshof calls for strengthened partnerships for children at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference
UNICEF official’s visit intended to shed light on gender empowerment and inclusive and equitable quality education
BOAO, China, 31 March 2023 – UNICEF reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening its partnership with China in the promotion of the rights of every child, including the right to inclusive and equitable quality education during UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Partnerships Karin Hulshof’s visit to Boao in southern China this week.
During the three-day visit, Hulshof attended the 2023 Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, a high-level gathering of government and business leaders, to shed light on children’s issues and the importance of partnerships to advance children’s rights.
“Concerted investment and coordination to strengthen education systems is needed so that all children and adolescents, especially the most marginalized, can acquire skills that help them realize their potential,” Hulshof said as she addressed a panel of officials, educators and experts.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 250 million adolescents were not in school. Further, it is estimated that by 2030, a total of 825 million girls and boys in low-income and middle-income countries will not acquire the basic secondary-level skills – such as transferable, digital and job-specific skills – needed to support lifelong learning and employment.
Hulshof also addressed inequality in education caused by poverty, conflict, displacement, and discrimination based on disability or gender, and called for action to ensure every child’s right to education.
Hulshof participated in a roundtable discussion on women’s leadership in an uncertain world, and called for investment to create equal outcomes for adolescent girls and to equip them with resources, opportunities and an enabling environment.
On the sidelines of the forum, the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director held bilateral talks with senior government officials from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, and the China International Development Cooperation Agency.
Hulshof acknowledged China’s progress in advancing children and women’s rights and development and stressed the need to reach all children – particularly the most vulnerable – with services and support.
“UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of China to reach the unreached, and to address emerging challenges facing children and young people, including mental health issues, skills gaps, and the safe use of digital technology,” said Hulshof. “UNICEF can also be a crucial partner for China in advancing global development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by contributing our expertise in programme design and delivery to build a better future for every girl and boy across the world.”
Since 1979, UNICEF has been working in partnership with the Government of China to improve children’s health, nutrition, water, education and protection, and to support the Government’s responses to emergencies. UNICEF is also working with government partners in China to help reach some of the most vulnerable children in other developing countries, in line with proven best practices and norms in international development.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
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