Queen Rania Chairs NCFA Board Meeting and National Plan of Action for Children is Adopted

September 22, 2004

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) adopted the National Plan of Action for Children (NPA) which the council has been working on in coordination with the Ministries of Planning, Social Development and UNICEF.

The plan which has six main components covers a period of ten years (2004-2014) and is based on the UN’s “World Fit for Children” document and the Arab Plan of Action for Children.

As President of the NCFA, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah underlined the need to focus on raising awareness on the issue in order to meet the goals of the NPA. She added that the different components of the plan need to be highlighted through discussion, seminars and lectures in order to reach all sectors of society and relevant parties concerned with its implementation.

NCFA Secretary General Dr. Ruweida Ma'ayta presented an overview of the council’s strategy mainly research management and data resources, policymaking and development, co-ordination and follow up and assessment as well as support and advocacy.

She outlined efforts in preparing the NPA which will be launched next month, explaining that a steering committee and technical working groups represented by governmental and non-governmental institutions, private sector, academics as well as specialists in the relevant areas, were formulated to develop draft sectoral plans to oversee the development of the NPA.

Discussion also focused on educational issues especially training of teachers and the role of universities in equipping the workforce with graduates who have the necessary skills especially in sectors dealing with education, children and social work.

In order to achieve that, Queen Rania noted university curricula should be able to meet the required specializations.

During the meeting of the board of trustees, Queen Rania was briefed on the progress of work on various NCFA programs, policies and strategies tackling issues and concerns to Jordanian families.

Dr. Ma’ayta pointed out to efforts underway to accomplish a national family strategy based on a national vision with the proper legislative framework to ensure family empowerment.

She also updated Queen Rania on efforts in developing family counseling services and the NCFA’s role in increasing awareness on family protection, revising laws pertinent to improving the status of Jordanian families and children and embracing international codes on child rights.

She said work was in progress on completing the NCFA website and having a resource center which aims to provide development organizations and policy-makers with research and information on family issues.

The NCFA, in collaboration with the Arab League, the Arab Family Organization (AFO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), is organizing an Arab regional meeting held under the patronage of Queen Rania next month. The meeting, which coincides with the International Year of the Family, will bring together Arab councils and entities concerned with family affairs.

The NCFA was established in September 2001 to contribute to improving the quality of life of all Jordanian families. The Council aims to ensure the right policy environment to support the development of family protection and unity, and to identify and implement mechanisms for increased coordination between Jordanian public institutions and civil society organizations working in the field of family affairs. It also collects data and information, monitors and shares information on the well-being of children and families, and contributes to policy developments.

Queen Rania had previously called for the need of increased coordination and cooperation as well as prioritizing issues when drawing up strategies among government and non-government organizations working with the NCFA, underlining the media's role in promoting these causes to foster discussion and better understanding of these issues.