Dr Dlamini-Zuma\r\n

From VIctoria Ruzvidzo in Pretoria South Africa—\r\nThe African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini  Zuma has called for the creation of an African continent that secures a descent life for children as opposed to the hunger, wars, early marriages and disease that most are being exposed to. Speaking at the Global Child conference here this morning, Dr Dlamini Zuma also fired a broadside at Western Powers for disregarding the safety of children when they start wars in countries they accuse of being dictatorships.

\r\n“You may be bombing a dictator but what happens to the children. That is what we see happening on the other side of the Mediterranean,” she said.\r\n\r\nIn countries such as Libya and Iraq, millions of children have been left dead, homeless or orphaned as western-sponsored turmoil became the order of the day when the super powers moved in to get at Colonel Muammar  Gaddafi and Sadam Hussein respectively.\r\n\r\nThe Global Child Forum conference brings together thought leaders from 28 countries from Africa and beyond to come up with practical ideas that can be adopted by governments, the private sector and other stakeholders to safeguard the welfare of children.\r\n\r\nAfrica has more children than any other  part of the world hence the convening of the conference here.\r\n\r\nDr Dhlamini Zuma said it was critical that the welfare of mothers be considered when discussing children’s rights.\r\n\r\n“Where is the mother in all this. If a mother is sleeping under a bridge the child will also sleep under the bridge. So we must ensure that the mother is part of this discourse and has the necessary rights and capabilities so that the child has better prospects in life,” she said.\r\n\r\nGlobal Child Forum honorary patron Dr Graca Machel emphasised the need for the private sector to broaden its contribution to child rights beyond mere donations.\r\n\r\n“The private sector needs to take child rights as its responsibility. It should look at children as an investment and go beyond just building schools but ensuring clean water and sanitation, skills development to develop children as human capital for nations,” she said.\r\nMore to follow….