H.E. Fuad Mubarak Al-Hinai
Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman and
Head of the Omani Delegation to the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

on the occasion of the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

New York,
10 May 2002

Mr. President,

On the occasion of this Special Session of the General Assembly on Children, we congratulate H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan and the Executive Director of UNICEF on their committed efforts toward the advancement of children.

Mr. President,

The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly is evidence of the strong support to the efforts exerted by all concerned parties in order to improve the situation of children in the world.

Mr. President,

Oman is committed to reaching the goals of the World Summit for Children that was held in 1990. The Sultanate's efforts in the area of childcare relied on a few basic foundations, amongst our priorities is the spread of education and the provision of social and health services with the goal of improving the situation of children and meeting their different needs to protect them and nurture them, and the fruits of those efforts have been recognized by a number of international reports, amongst them, the report of the World Health Organization that recently announced that the Sultanate had attained the highest rank among 191 countries in terms of the quality of health care.

Mr. President,

Under five mortality rates have decreased to 2.4 percent compared to 1990, and the percentage of immunizations against childhood diseases has reached between 99 percent, and 100 percent during the past five years, and the Sultanate has remained free of polio for the seventh consecutive year. There have not been any registered cases of tetanus in the Sultanate since 1992 and no case of diphtheria since 1993.

Despite all these achievements by the Sultanate, we are still aiming to improve malnutrition amongst children under 5, and to broaden nutritional awareness in the population, as well as increasing child participation, paying attention to pre-education and overcoming illiteracy in addition to stimulating the role of young adults and giving them the opportunity to participate and express their point of view on different aspects related to them. Furthermore, we are promoting the role of social work and updating its mechanisms.

Mr. President,

The Sultanate of Oman highly values the efforts exerted into preparing the outcome document, entitled "A Word Fit for Children". We reaffirm the importance of this document reflecting the role of the natural family, and its focus on instilling virtues and values into children, and we look forward to integrating it into our future national strategies.

Mr. President,

We feel that it is of the utmost importance to provide protection to children living under embargo and foreign occupation. We reaffirm the necessity of protecting Palestinian children, whose rights, according to international charters and conventions, have been completely obliterated.

We hope that we can achieve the highest results for children based on international strategies and obligations that provide for each child a safe life, free from fear and deprivation.

I thank you, Mr. President.