On World Children’s Day, UNICEF announced that it was opening an office in Greece, marking what it said was a “major milestone in the ongoing cooperation between the Greek State and the United Nations agency to place children’s rights at the heart of the national agenda.”
“Today is an important day and we are so happy that you are setting up a Country Office in Greece,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during his conversation with Luciano Calestini, UNICEF’s Representative in Greece, earlier today.
“You know how important UNICEF is in Greece. It only has positive connotations in the hearts and in the minds of Greek people. As we are facing different types of challenges, we need to adapt our strategies to the evolving needs of protecting children.”
The UNICEF Greece Country Office will collaborate with key ministries and those who work in the area of children’s rights, as well as the private sector, academia, media and the public to deliver results and raise support for children’s rights.
The agency will prioritize sectors that have particularly deep impact on children, guided by the country’s national strategy, key EU child rights policies, the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Sustainable Development Goals.
“The opening of the UNICEF Greece Country Office signals a new chapter in our partnership with Greece, which dates back to 1946,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “Guided by our mandate to promote and protect the rights of all children, we look forward to writing this new and hopeful chapter with the government and people of Greece.”
UNICEF will launch the new “Country Program” in 2021, following consultations with key Ministries and authorities. A team of 30 child rights experts has already begun working closely with the Greek state toward meeting a wide range of commitments and responsibilities to children in the country, as enshrined in the CRC.
“Greece and UNICEF have worked closely in recent years to address the challenges facing refugee and migrant children in the country and across the region,” Calestini said. “This new milestone builds and expands on that excellent collaboration, allowing us to reach children across Greece. The Greek people, the Greek state and your administration can be assured of the organization’s complete and full commitment to work together for every child in the country.”