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Act Collectively And Decisively In Fighting For The Cause Of Children, Says Rosmah | 11/10/2010
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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 11 2010 (Bernama) -- It is time for the First Ladies around the world to act collectively and decisively in fighting for the cause of children universally, for the sake of the future of the respective countries and its people, said the prime minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Although the United Nations and its agencies had been instrumental in undertaking the role, Rosmah said the First Ladies must accept that it was their problem and they could not simply turn a blind eye and hope somebody else would come and resolve the issues occurring in their own backyard.

"If we don't seriously help and guide these children to overcome the numerous social challenges they face, how will they ever become good and responsible leaders of tomorrow?" she said in her opening remarks at the official opening of the First Ladies Summit 2010, at Seri Perdana, here Monday night.

The three-day summit themed "A Child Today, A Leader Tomorrow" was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.

Rosmah, who is also the patron of the summit, said as children were the most precious assets, it was the First Ladies' collective responsibility as citizens of the world to develop and nurture them.

"So that they will be capable not just to take on the challenges that are familiar right now, but also empowered to take on possible complexities of tomorrow.

"I dread to think of the hefty cost children have to pay as a consequence of our neglect and carelessness, if we fail to nurture and equip them to survive in an increasingly complex and challenging world.

"Our responsibility and obligation today must be to ensure that our children are equipped not only with the knowledge of today, but also with the necessary basic skills that will make them resilient and ever ready to adapt to future developments," she said.

Rosmah said as First Ladies, she believed they were strategically placed to be social advocates for community initiatives in the areas of leadership, education, empowerment and social development.

She said as individuals having the privilege of prominence, they also had the opportunity to direct public attention to matters that needed to be attended to most urgently.

"As spouses of national leaders working together, we have a chance to advocate for change to take place across the nations represented here, which may lead to a more comprehensive adaptation of our ideas in other parts of the world."

Rosmah said the First Ladies must continue advocating the importance of preparing children early and effectively, and they should not stop until the goals and objectives had been met.

She said the strong networking among the First Ladies should also be strengthened and enhanced even when the summit was over, to help pave the way for closer cooperation and better collaboration in efforts to achieve the gathering's objectives in building a better future and sustainable development for children.

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