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COMMEMORATION MESSAGE Minster of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports The Rights of the Child

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Good morning,
Protocol: (staff of the Department of Youth Affairs, representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen),

On November 20, 1989, 24-years ago today, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark for human rights that came into force after the law acquired the required number of signatories for its ratification.

This treaty for the first time sought to address the particular needs of children and set minimum standards for the protection of their rights.

It is the first international treaty to guarantee civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely accepted human rights treaty.

To mark the 24th anniversary of this significant occasion, country Sint Maarten is pleased to join the rest of the world to celebrate the day and to take stock of our achievements in fulfilling the rights of children, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As country Sint Maarten, we have a lot to be thankful for. Our children are well off when compared to what some children go through on a daily basis around the world.
Millions of children have no access to education, to water, sanitation; work long hours under hazardous conditions; is forced to serve as soldiers in some countries in armed conflict; and children are often exploited and abused.

As country Sint Maarten, as a civil society, we must ensure that our children are treated as full-fledged members of society.

As Minister responsible for Youth Affairs, on this 24th anniversary of the Rights of the Child, I recommit myself, my Ministry and Government to discuss our achievements, but at the same time review what remains to be done and how, so that the children of country Sint Maarten can enjoy their rights and freedoms and government can respond to the demands and expectations of our youth.

We must as a nation continue to increase and improve where necessary on our measures and mechanisms for protecting our children.
Government is committed to allocating the necessary resources, within our budgetary constraints, so that we can further enhance the services that are related to the rights of our children.

I would like to conclude by congratulating all the children and youth of country Sint Maarten on this historic day where the world of nation's 24-years ago saw the necessity of securing the rights of children and young people.

Thank you
God Bless our children.
God Bless Sint Maarten
Patricia Lourens-Philip
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports

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