By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday, certified that Belize City is a “child Friendly” municipality.
The Belize City Council, along with partners UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held a ceremony at the Battlefield Park to commemorate the milestone in the city’s development.
Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, and UNICEF country representative for Belize, Ivan Yerovi, were among the officials who attended the ceremony.
Mayor Bradley, in his remarks said that the certification is not to symbolize that the city has arrived, but rather, that the city has made great progress and continues to work on making the municipality “child-friendly.” He also said that the Mayor’s Association supports the initiative and has committed to make all municipalities certified as child friendly.
“I think that we should look at it as more of a process than an award.” Bradley said. “What we’re talking about is an international program that’s coordinated by UNICEF that accredits municipalities based on certain benchmarks.”
Those benchmarks, he explained, included aspects such as governance, inclusive of young persons, safe infrastructure and recreational facilities.
“What the program does – it really challenges municipalities to meet these bench marks, and today is one of those benchmarks that we are moving to call Belize City truly child friendly. We’re not there yet but we have met the most basic requirements,” Bradley added.
After the speeches, Minister Patt presented Mayor Bradley with a certificate commemorating the city’s new status.