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Ministerial sub committee sets key priorities for children and young people

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Ensuring all children reach their full potential was the focus for the first meeting of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People today.

Speaking after the meeting, Junior Minister Gerry Kelly said the sub-committee will provide an opportunity to address priority cross-cutting issues in a joined up way.

“As champions for children and young people we are fully committed to securing and prioritising their rights. We now have an opportunity to do just that through this cross-departmental approach. With this in mind we have decided to take forward the idea that each Department identifies a dedicated champion for children and young people at senior level.

“We must remember that it is the responsibility of all of us to work together to ensure our children’s needs are being met and to strive to achieve transparency through the sharing of information across the sector,” concluded Mr Kelly.

Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson said the establishment of the sub-committee demonstrated the Executive’s commitment to improving the lives of all children.

“Children and young people represent over a quarter of our population and we must ensure services are delivered to them in a way that is relevant and truly beneficial.

“This sub-committee can act as a vital platform to drive forward the implementation of the 10 year strategy for children and young people and ensure that children’s issues remain at the forefront,” We will be identifying key priorities to drive forward over the next year,” he said.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The meeting came on the eve of Junior Minister Kelly’s meeting with Professor Yanghee Lee, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Professor Lee is here to deliver the Children’s Law Centre Annual Lecture and meet those involved in developing children and young people’s policy.
  2. The Sub-Committee is jointly chaired by the two OFMDFM Junior Ministers and all departmental Ministers are members.
  3. At today’s meeting the group agreed their priorities and terms of reference.
  4. Media enquiries to OFMDFM Press Office on 028 9052 1375. Out of hours contact duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.