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February 13, 2019

DIFI Presents ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’ at Its UN Doha Briefing Event


The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has hosted a panel titled ‘Doha Briefing’ on the sidelines of the 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development. The event, which presented the ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’, was held on February 12 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

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The panel was held in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD). It aimed to provide a platform for key stakeholders to undertake policy dialogue, enabling greater understanding of the progress made and the challenges faced by families, and to exchange experiences and lessons learned concerning new evidence and innovations targeted at families.

The ‘Doha Briefing’ panel began with an introductory session delivered by Her Excellency Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN.

Dr. Sharifa Al-Emadi, Executive Director, DIFI, delivered the opening remarks, saying: "The ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’ originated from DIFI’s belief that parental education is the cornerstone for promoting the well-being of individuals, families, and communities – a view which is supported by scientific evidence.

"DIFI’s last international conference, and the presentation of the ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’, in October 2018 served as an opportunity to highlight the importance of parental investment and parenting, and the development of policies, programs, and interventions that support parents and promote positive practices.”

The ‘Doha Briefing’ was attended by Mr. Salim Al Enezi, Director of the Planning and Development Office, The Family Counseling Center (Wifaq); Mr. Ignacio Socias, Director of Communications, IFFD; Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, Focal Point on the Family, UN DESA; Mr. Ronald Ferguson, Director, The Achievement Gap, Harvard Kennedy School; and Ms. Eve Sullivan, Co-Founder and President, Parents Forum.

Mr. Socias said: “The awareness on parenting importance is growing around the world, because of its direct influence in advancing social integration and solidarity between generations, as well as in promoting and protecting the human rights of all family members. Positive parenting has proved to be the right approach, and it is mentioned as the basis of the statement that was presented during the Doha Briefing.”

Ms. Kaczmarska said: “The Doha Briefing on ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’ provides a platform for advocacy on the importance of parenting and investing in parenting education as part of overall family policymaking conducive to the realization of the 2030 Development Agenda.”

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The panel also brought together organizations and NGOs such as the World Family Organization; International Federation for Home Economics; Focus on the Family Malaysia; Investing in Children and their Societies; Fathers in Africa; Ngala, Parenting with Confidence; and European Large Families Confederation.

During the session, attendees explored the measures that governments can take to support parents in performing the essential and socialization of their children, and to enhance all family members’ capacity for nurturing and caring for children. The session also explored the intergenerational transfer of knowledge and traditions to support adult children in caring for elderly parents, as well as grandparents caring for their grandchildren.

Participants additionally discussed the steps member states can take to support meaningful contributions of civil society organizations in the design, implementation, and monitoring of family policies and programs, removing barriers to the establishment, work, and funding of non-governmental organizations.

DIFI is a global policy and advocacy institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families through research and promote evidence-based polices at a national, regional, and international level. The institute has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.