Egypt turned the world-famous Giza Pyramids blue on 25 November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC@30).
An event commemorating the occasion was held in partnership with the European Union and the UNICEF , and under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), highlighting the achievements of Egypt in terms of child rights.
The event was attended by numerous prominent figures from various fields and representation of many stakeholders.
The colourful aspect of the occasion was reflected through works of art presented by children in a special exhibition, along with a musical and theatrical performance. Celebrities were keen to attend and cheer the participants, among whom actress Donia Samir Ghanem, UNICEF Egypt’s ambassador.
Egypt's achievements in the field were highlighted by Mr Bruno Maes, UNICEF's representative in Egypt, who stated that UNICEF supported the amendment of Egypt's child law, harmonising the minimum age of marriage for both males and females at 18.
“Between 1992 and 2014, the neonatal mortality rate has decreased by 58 percent and the under-five mortality rate by 68 percent. In terms of nutrition, the use of improved drinking water sources has increased by 11 percent,” Maes said.
On behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Ambassador Ahmed Gamal El-Din said that Egypt regards the protection and promotion of the rights of the child as a key principle in line with Egypt’s historic commitments and Strategic Vision 2030.
Dr Tarek Shawki, minister of education and technical education, said that his ministry values the efforts to reach full development of the child, especially those who are in the early childhood stage, as this has a great impact on the development of the child’s mental capabilities, the formation of personality, and socially beneficial conduct.
Dr Shawki asserted the ministry’s commitment to every child’s right and equal opportunity for receiving good quality education meeting international standards, paving the way for children to actively develop socially and economically and to be able to compete regionally and globally.
Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, said the EU has cooperated with Egypt in recent years to support children's rights to education, health, participation, protection from violence, and to equality — especially gender equality as well as the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) and stopping child labour.
Ms Amira Alfadl, commissioner in the Department of Social Affairs in the African Union Commission, congratulated the Egyptian people and government on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, adding that over the past three decades several positive measures have been taken at the policy and legislative levels, with a focus on ending child marriage and FGM on the African continent.
The celebration and lighting of the pyramids blue was part of the global initiative, “Go Blue for Every Child.”