Speech of Marjaana Sall, EU Ambassador for the launching ceremony of the team building session
organised by Association TIPA for teaching and non-teaching staff from three ZEP Schools.
The Honourable Mr Alain Wong, Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment
Ms Angélique De La Hogue, Programme Manager of the Association TIPA
Dear Teachers and school staff
Ladies and gentlemen
The rights of the child are human rights. They are indivisible, universal and inalienable.
In March this year, the Foreign Ministers of the European Union have adopted the revised EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child under the theme "Leave no Child Behind".
These Guidelines set out the overarching strategy of the European Union to strengthen efforts to ensure every child, in particular the most marginalised, is reached by EU policies and actions.
I am particularly happy that the launching ceremony of Association TIPA's annual team building activity is taking place just a few weeks after the adoption of those revised guidelines.
It provides me with a unique opportunity to reaffirm that the European Union will continue to stand up for the rights of every child to reach their full potential.
The European Union supports the action that TIPA is launching today for three ZEP schools, namely Vallijee, Tranquebar and Pointes aux Sables.
Through this action, teaching and non-teaching school staff, as well as parents will be empowered to accompany children in the development of their full potential through education to art and culture.
This is a key activity within TIPA's annual plan which aims at creating bonds among key local community stakeholders.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of EU external action.
TIPA's action in favour of the development of life skills of children is in line with SDG #4 which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
We deem that impact assessments that TIPA will be carrying out to collect data on the efficiency of its actions is important in order to gather lessons learned and to implement its five-year programme in the most efficient way to the benefit of children and of the overall local communities.
Within its longstanding partnership with the Republic of Mauritius, the European Union uses a combination of policy dialogue, development cooperation and thematic budget lines to promote and protect the rights of the child in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The rights of the child are reflected and addressed through the EU Human Rights and Democracy Strategy for the Republic of Mauritius, and we work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare.
We have assisted the government in the development of the National Child Development Strategy and action planwhich sets out the framework to consolidate and strengthen on-going efforts and measures to respond to child protection issues.
We have also focused on increasing access to education of children with special needs and improving their school performance.
We have provided support to civil society actors including child-focused civil society actors in Mauritius and Rodrigues under the Decentralised Cooperation Programme and our Non-State Actors thematic programme.
At international level, the EU is committed to promoting the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols.
The EU regularly tables resolutions on children's rights at the UN Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly Third Committee and works in close cooperation with civil society, and UN bodies such as the UNICEF.
We wish to commend TIPA for its commitment to support child development and creative spirit. We wish you full success in the implementation of your programme.
Before I conclude, let me reaffirm that the EU is committed to continue to engage with the government and the civil society of the Republic of Mauritius so that no child is left behind.