Issues related to the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and collaboration between that organisation and the Government of Barbados were discussed today, when UNICEF’s Regional Director, Bernt Aasen, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road headquarters.

Speaking about areas for further collaboration, Senator McClean noted that Government had developed the Ministry of Family to focus on matters directly related to, or that could impact on children.?? She recommended that UNICEF personnel based in Barbados could seek further collaboration with that department to advance the cause of youth.

Minister McClean also reiterated Government’s commitment to the work of the United Nations system in Barbados, which she said was evidenced by its investment in the provision of office facilities and other amenities for workers.?? "In that way, we see ourselves as partnering with the UN System," she added.

The Regional Director, who is based in Panama, explained that his organisation was preparing to start its new country programme in 2012 and was in the process of gathering information from the countries it served to influence that planning.?? He pointed out that UNICEF was also keen to assist Government with implementing the structures and systems required to follow up its international commitments made through the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Both parties also discussed closer cooperation in the area of disaster management.??

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