A Framework Agreement for Cooperation (FAC) between the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was signed in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 4.

The signatories included ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Toole.

The FAC sets an action programme for the next five years and beyond with a view to pursue the survival, sustainable growth, full development and participation of children.

The goal is also in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the global post-2015 development agenda.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minh encouraged the UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific to work closely with related ASEAN bodies, especially its Secretariat, on a concrete action plans to realise the FAC goals.

Minh also stressed the importance of a sustainable approach to ASEAN-UNICEF cooperation through the pursuance of a multi-year programme and the mobilisation of stable funding resources to implement joint activities.

For his part, Daniel Toole reaffirmed UNICEF's commitment to working with ASEAN on the promotion of children's rights, saying that the implementation of the FAC will support the newly adopted ASEAN-UN Work Plan for 2015 as well as other framework agreements signed between ASEAN and other UN agencies, contributing to the drafting of another plan for the beyond-2015 period.

The ASEAN-UNICEF FAC is the second framework agreement that ASEAN has concluded with an UN agency after the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter in 2008. Earlier, ASEAN signed a FAC with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in December 2013.-VNA