Focus on vulnerable children at the Black Sea NGO Forum in Bucharest

ChildPact, the Regional Coalition for Child Protection in the wider Black Sea Area, will host a special panel at the Black Sea NGO Forum tomorrow, September 5th. The event will be held at Hotel Pullman in Bucharest, starting from 11 a.m.

Government officials, civil society representatives and experts will discuss the opportunities offered by the establishment of a Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Child Protection aimed at enhancing the welfare of children in the Wider Black Sea Area. The Regional Cooperation Mechanism was originally proposed by ChildPact in Bucharest at the Black Sea NGO forum in 2011. Since then, the initiative obtained official endorsement from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation and grew through the active engagement of national coalitions of child protection NGOs from 10 countries of the region.

On the 5th of September 2013, an action plan and possibly a ‘Bucharest Statement’ will be developed to express the commitment and determination of involved stakeholders in taking some co-ordinated actions towards the strengthening of regional cooperation for child protection.

High level government officials and civil society representatives will also join the discussion. Participants who confirmed their presence include line ministries/ public authorities; Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) representative; Children’s Unit at Council of the Baltic Sea States; European Commission Representation in Bucharest; child protection networks representatives; new EU donors and other EU donors; embassies of ChildPact countries in Romania; journalists; Black Sea region experts (ex. members of the Black Sea Young Reformers, think tanks, etc.).

The foreign guests, mainly government representatives from 7 ChildPact countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia) will be invited to give a brief overview of child protection developments in their countries and their views regarding the feasibility of ChildPact’s proposal for building a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection, having in mind similar experiences in other regions of the world and the need for strengthened regional cooperation in this field, as stated by Recommendation 127/2012 of PABSEC (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation).