Child Author from Taiwan, Anna, gives a TEED talk
Taiwan Environmental Education Dialogue (TEED) will launch this year's Children and Environmental Forum after the announcement from the Voices of Future Generations International Commission of the winning 2016 Child Author from Asia. In the event, the excellent stories of the Asian Child Authors will be shared on the TEED stage, along with other prestigious speakers devoted to the field.
Anna Kuo, Child Author from Taiwan, whose book ‘Fireflies After The Typhoon’ has already been published, gave the following TEED talk. She speaks confidently and eloquently about her book, and the environmental problems Taiwan faces, especially if people do not take action.
Hello, dear Guests. I’m Yu-Yin (Anna) Kuo, currently studying at Ying-Qiao Elementary School. I’m glad to have the opportunity to share with you all the story of “Fireflies After the Typhoon”.
This story describes the transformation and rebirth of the Peach Blossom Village. The villagers planted betal palms for economic reasons, but didn’t know that it would cause a catastrophe. Eventually, they learnt a lesson and understood the importance of protecting our environment. My inspiration for writing this story is from the beautiful Formosa -- Taiwan. Taiwan is in a typhoon area and earthquake zone. Strong winds, pouring rains, and earthquakes cause disasters. People always think that these are natural disasters, but don’t know that part of them are human disasters. Taiwan is a true treasure Island, with so many special animals and plants and blessed natural landscape. As long as we protect them well, I believe that we will be proud of all of these characteristics. Unfortunately, under continual human development, much of the species’ ecology has been destroyed. For example, the Formosan clouded leopards’ habitat has been destroyed, it has been hunted etc. and they are disappearing gradually. However, we can do something now to make changes, and to let natural recover to good status. For example, government departments and schools in Taiwan are banned from providing paper cups. Although this may cause an inconvenience in life, for the sake of our environment we must boil kettles as a substitution. We should not litter for the sake of convenience, and instead recycle. There are many resources that can be used repeatedly.
In my story, the Peach Blossom Village is a place where people can live peacefully with the natural world. I hope that with all our efforts, the Peach Blossom Village can be more than just a dream place.
Intergenerational Learning Circle at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London
In the afternoon of 07 July 2016, a very special event jointly hosted by the Voices of Future Generations initiative and the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice was held at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. This intergenerational learning circle included Voices of Future Generations child authors from around the world, UN SDG child ambassadors and children from local schools who came together to share their ideas about how they would address the Post-2015 SDGs and about the world they would like to live in.
All of the children contributed brilliantly, offering their inspirational and insightful views on issues such as gender equality, climate change, human rights and access to education, amongst other deeply important topics. Several key themes emerged. The children present keenly emphasised the need for all children around the world know their rights, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They called for better recognition of their right to have a voice and to express their opinions. Working together was deemed crucial and the children appealed to adults for help and support in achieving their goals for building a better world. It was also overwhelmingly important to the children that all people should strive more for a sustainable world and less for beyond personal gain. As one of the children said, “once given a voice, we will speak, and once listened to, we will move forwards in the goal to give every child rights”.
A 2016 Future Generations Inspiration Award was presented to keynote speaker Professor Kirsten Sandberg by the child authors, in recognition and acknowledgement of the inspirational work she has done on the United Nations Committee to the Rights of the Child behalf of children globally.
Child participants from the schools in attendance received Gold and Silver awards and certificates in the following categories for their participation in the learning circle:
1. Creativity: King's College School, Cambridge
2. Environment: Millfields Community School, London
3. Human Rights: Archway School, Stroud
4. Education: Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester
5. Science: Dundonald Primary School, Wimbledon
6. Global Citizenship: South Hampstead School, London
7. Sustainability: Grange Primary School, Ealing
1. Creativity: Haimo Primary School, Greenwich and North Bridge House School, London
2. Environment: South Hampstead School, London and Haimo Primary School, Greenwich
3. Human Rights: Henry Cavendish Primary School, London and Millfields Community School, London
4. Education: St Magdalene Primary School, London and North Bridge House School, London
5. Science: Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester and Archway School, Stroud
6. Global Citizenship: Henry Cavendish Primary School, London and Tower House School, London
Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, congratulates the children on launching their books, and speaks about the value of education as a way to equip every child with the values and skills needed to become informed and sensitive global citizens.
Professor Edith Brown-Weiss congratulates the children on writing prize-winning books, and talks about the importance of protecting children and future generations.
Roundtable Discussion with Mrs Mary Robinson, London
On 08 July 2016, child authors, goodwill ambassadors, and representatives from the Voices of Generations initiative and Bloomsbury Publishing assembled at the Landmark Hotel, London, to meet with Mrs Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Founder and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice.
The child authors introduced presented Mrs Robinson with autographed copies of their books to Mrs Robinson who was inspired and thrilled by their work. Over dinner, the children engaged in an inspiring and engaging roundtable discussion with Mrs Robinson, about the issues addressed in their books and how they relate to the CRC and Post-2015 SDG’s. Conversation also turned to intergenerational equity and how this can be addressed and achieved.
A 2016 Future Generations Inspiration Award was presented by the child authors to Mary Robinson, to thank her for being an inspiring global mentor to both the children present, children around the world and for future generations, on whose behalf she campaigns for a better future.
Bloomsbury Publishing Event, London
On 07 July 2016 UN Sustainable Development Goal child ambassadors, goodwill ambassadors and child authors met at Bloomsbury Publishing, London, for the launch of the seven books that currently comprise the Voices of Future Generations Children’s book series. The child authors presented their newly published storybooks with excitement and explained how their story plots and characters relate to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and SDGs.
The child authors, goodwill ambassadors and representatives from Bloomsbury Publishing signed an international partnership agreement to begin a special collaboration between the Voices of Future Generations Children’s initiative and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, a Nobel Prize winning and leading independent publisher with global reach. We are very excited about this partnership, which will promote children’s literacy, education, joy of discovery and learning about sustainability, children’s rights, the environment, social justice and the interests of future generations of our world.
Jona David (10) of King's College School, Cambridge, UN Voices of Future Generations Child Author, and UN Child Ambassador for the SDGs, was honoured with the Justitia Junior Award in June 2016.This award, founded by the Ombudsmen of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights of Hungary in 2007, is granted for exemplary, outstanding achievement in the field of protection of human rights and the environment, and is presented each year on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of the Ombudsman institution. The Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Junior Award was founded in 2015, and 2016 is the first year for it to be presented. According to the Laudation, Jona received this award for his exemplary commitment to children's rights, sustainability and global citizenship, including his outstanding children's books about eco-science and education and his creative and dynamic work raise awareness about children's rights to education and a healthy environment. The Jury also underlined that Jona is also a founding member of the KCS Eco-Society, has won several medals and second place worldwide for two years in the TSL International Schools Debates and Essay Competition on Sustainability and is a Climate Justice Ambassador. As noted in Laudation, Jona David's achievements show how talent, when encouraged, when given a free course, can unfold surprisingly soon and in surprising richness. They highlight that learning is not a one-way street, that teachers with open minds and hearts
can also learn from resourceful and courageous children.
A very warm welcome to Ms Gabrielle Bacon, our new
goodwill ambassador for North America
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada to an Italian father and Hungarian mother, Gabrielle moved to the UK gained her undergraduate degree at McGill University, where she held a special scholarship as page in the Canadian House of Commons, and her MPhil in International Relations at Cambridge University. During her studies, she became fascinated by the UN’s role in international affairs, and her MPhil thesis at Cambridge was on the International Court of Justice. Gabrielle stayed in Europe for the next fifteen years, working in the media and art worlds in various capacities. As the client liaison for all sales across Europe at Sotheby’s in London, Gabrielle spent many years in the auction world with the help of her language skills of fluent French, Italian and Spanish. She moved to the United States with her American husband, Louis Bacon, a noted environmentalist, some seven years ago where her life has been consumed with children (three of her own with Louis and four step-children), her work at Moore Charitable Trust and her board work. At the Moore Foundation, Gabrielle has brought together areas of education, medicine and the arts, especially as to how they pertain to the environment and land conservation. She pioneered an Artists-in-Residence program for Plein-Air artists to paint at the Foundation’s private preserved lands. For health and welfare, she has supported important projects in the developing world, including feeding children at schools thru Mary’s Meals in Malawi, helping restore vision through Orbis Intl, also scholarships, projects for fundraising and awareness for Donors Choose (education support), Catholic Charities (families and children), among many other initiatives. Gabrielle Bacon was elected Vice President of the GreenVale School (nursery through grade 9) Board of Trustees and also by the Women’s Board of the Boys Club of New York, a 140-year-old organization which provides free after school opportunities in four clubhouses in different areas of Manhattan for disadvantaged boys. She sits on the Board of the Peconic Baykeeper, an environmental watch group on Long Island. Mrs Bacon is also a Board Trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University-Weill Cornell medical system. By invitation, Gabrielle belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts Director’s Council and the Tate Britain Museum International Council.
Congratulations to Ms Kehkashan Basu, Voices of Future Generations alumna from the Middle East
Warmest of thanks and good wishes go to Ms Kehkashan Basu, first Child Author from the Middle East in the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book Series, who authored The Tree of Hope. Kehkashan now serves as a special keynote speaker, co-drafter of the Children’s Declaration on the Sustainable Development Goals, and inspiring youth mentor and ambassador for the World Future Council in the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book Series, with great success.
Children’s Voices on International Radio Broadcast, Taipei, Taiwan
In March 2016, Anna You-yin, Kuo (11, Asia) was invited as a guest in the Taiwan Environmental Education Dialogue-produced Children’s Radio Show "Sustainable Development Goal Radio Show", to share her ideas, as a child author, about how to implement the SDGs and involve children on the ground. Her appearance built on her previous radio broadcast in October 2015, when Anna was invited by Radio Taiwan International to share her story "The Fireflies after the Typhoon", and to report on what she had seen and heard during the United Nations/Voices of Future Generations Children’s Summit on the World’s Sustainable Development Goals in New York in September 2015. This radio show is published in Taiwan and Mainland China.
Child Authors speak in World Future Council, Hamburg, Germany
At the World Future Council Annual General Meeting 2016 on 9th March in Hamburg, Child Authors Kehkashan Basu (15, Middle East) and Jona David (10, EU/North America) spoke on behalf of the Voices of Future Generations initiative. Kehkashan, as a World Futures Ccouncil Youth Ambassador and Jona, as Voices of Future Generations Child Author, Europe/North America, called for youth and children’s voices in decision-making to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, among other key messages. An education and awareness-raising event was also held about their books, The Great Green Vine Invention and The Tree of Hope, at the Central Library of Hamburg, opening a forum for them to reach out to children and the public about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Pacific Islands Child Author Raises Awareness, Papua New Guinea
In March 2016, Tyronah Sioni (9, Small Islands) gave education and awareness-raising speeches on the Sustainable Development Goals and children’s rights, sharing her story at the Australian International School in Singapore. Tyra also reached out to children across Papua New Guinea with a front page lead article in the PNG Post Courier (Tuesday 15th December, 2015), an article in the World Student Magazine (http://www.world-student.com/) and an article in Expat Living Singapore: (http://www.expatliving.sg). She has also featured in an article Paradise Magazine, and is planning an interview with ABC Radio Australia, as well as for the publication Suitcases and Strollers.
On Friday, April 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon ruled that Juliana vs. United States, a suit brought by 21 young people ranging in ages from 8 to 19, may proceed. The suit, which is supported by Our Children's Trust, claims the federal government is violating their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution to life. liberty, and property by permitting, encouraging, and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels. (Source)
Child authors meet UN Secretary-General
Two Voices of Future Generations Child authors had an amazing time at Westminster on the morning of Friday, February 5th 2016, presenting their books to Mr Ban Ki-moon, whose moving speech signalled the importance of the SDGs including global response to climate change, international peace-keeping and human rights, also the need for youth and children's special voices.
Book Signing Event at Heffers, Cambridge, UK
Join us, on Saturday, 30th January 2016 from 2.00 to 4.00pm at Heffers in Cambridge where Child Authors Jona David (10) and Diwa Boateng (11) will be signing copies of the new eco-inventor boy book The Great Green Vine Invention and sharing a new children’s book The Tree of Hope.
Online publication of the Storyline edition of children's books from the Voices of Future Generations Book Series
Voices of Future Generations is pleased to share with you the early release of the storybook edition of the first books of the winning authors in our new series. The version of the books you will be able to download below is an early publication of the storybook edition.
The books may be downloaded here
UN Children Summit delegates presented their Declaration to International leaders
The UN Children Summit delegates presented their Declaration to a host of international leaders, in particular to the co-chairs of the Sustainable Development Goals H.E. Ambassador David Donoghue (Ireland) and H.E. Ambassador Macharia Kamau (Kenya)
‘Inspiration for Future Generations’ Award Winners
Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Hon. Mary Robinson, of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice; and Mr Nikhil Seth, Director-General of UNITAR and former Director of UN DSD, were selected by the children delegates as ‘Inspiration for Future Generations’ Award Winners for 2015
The Voices of Future Generations 2015 Children's Declaration was adopted unanimously in the 2015 Children's Summit on the World's Sustainable Development Goals at the UN Headquarters this week on 20 September 2015
Adopted by over 100 delegates, building on the online contributions of over 2700 children from more than 70 countries is now available online at the following link
Voices Of Future Generations would like to thank the UN Bookstore, UNDPI, UNESCO, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and especially, the team at UNDESA’s Division on Sustainable Development for their support, encouragement and partnership.
A message from Alexandra Wandel, Management Board and Director of the WFC Head Office in Hamburg to the #UNChildrenSummit
The message is available here
Child Authors to bring their visions to 70th UN General Assembly in support of new global sustainability goals
An inspirational group of child authors will be making their voices heard on sustainable development – which includes environmental, social and economic issues – and children’s rights during the UN General Assembly's 70th Anniversary in New York next week.
The young writers will launch their books, which promote the values and voices of their generation, alongside a 2015 Children’s Declaration on the UN’s new World Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Bookstore at 11am on the 21 September.
The Children’s Declaration will be agreed at the first ever Children’s Summit at the UN headquarters on 20 September, which the young authors are helping to host.
New Child Authors Selected from the Pacific Islands
The Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book Series, on 04-05 September 2015, led the final consultations in the Voices of Future Generations selection process for the Pacific Islands. The selected Child Authors from the Pacific Islands, gold winners in the regional children's story competition, were announced the next day, along with the silver and bronze winners whose stories will be printed in a special illustrated regional anthology in English in 2016.
In a full day Children’s Summit event in New York City on September 20th 2015, International Commission Member and Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Islands, Ms Melinda Manuel of the Pacific Islands Society of the UK and Ireland, will present the awards in person, and the other Child Authors will welcome the new Pacific Child Authors to the team.
Voices of Future Generations Child Authors from the Pacific Islands:
1. Gold Certificate and international publication: Lupeo’aunu’u Vaai(11), The Voice of An Island (Samoa)
2. Gold Certificate and international publication: Tyra Sioni (9), The Visible Girls (Papua New Guinea)
Further Special Commendations for Leading Entries from the Pacific Islands:
3. Silver Commendation: Max Tunicliffe (10), Rubbish No More (New Zealand)
4. Silver Commendation: Alexandria Slaven (11), A Home for Mr Crab (Samoa)
5. Bronze Commendation: Sophie Wright (10) The School in the Shed* (Fiji)
6. Bronze Commendation: Mira Mishra (10) Fifa and Pawpaw (Suva)
New Child Authors Selected from Latin America
Welcoming the new Asia Child Author
Voices of Future Generations’ partner in Asia, EQPF, hosted, on August 3rd 2015, a Voices of Future Generations Children and Environment Forum in Taipei, where the selected Child Author from Asia, gold winner in the regional children's story competition, was announced, along with the silver, bronze and honorable mentions whose stories will be printed in a regional anthology.
In a full day event, Commission Members Dr YS Hsieh, EQPF, and Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, presented and gave the awards, and NA/European Child Author Jona David presented his first book translated into Chinese, and welcomed the new Asia Child Author to the team.
The final Asia VoFG winners are:
1. Gold Certificate and international publication: Yu-yin Kuo, ‘Forest Fireflies After the Hurricane’ (Taiwan)
VoFG International Children’s Series
Special Commendations for Leading Entries from Asia
2.1 Silver Commendation: Yun-Zhi Ong, 'The Three Tree-Planters' (Malaysia) Peng Bin Elementary School, Peneng
2.2 Silver Commendation: Wan-ting Wei, ‘Magic Encounter in the Sea’ (Taiwan)
2.3 Silver Commendation: Jia-xuan Yang, ‘Jade Snow's Rescue of the Environment’ (Taiwan)
3.1 Bronze Commendation: Ying-xuan Lia, ‘Tales of the Waves at Lanyu’ (Taiwan)
3.2 Bronze Commendation: Cleony Mahendra, 'A Feathered Friend' (Indonesia) Surabaya Taipei International School
3.3 Bronze Commendation: Chi-han Su, ‘Guardians of the Environment in Fantasia’ (Taiwan)
4.1 Special Poetry Commendation: Ai Zhong, ‘The Future We Want’ (Taiwan)
4.2 Special Poetry Commendation: Yuan-Chuang Ding, 'If I were bird, horse, fish and human' (China) Zhejiang Zi Wei Elementry School
5.1 Honourable Mention: Maurice Alexander Purnawan, 'Reinterpretation of the Old Chinese Story of Nu Wa Patches Up the Sky' (Indonesia) Surabaya Taipei International school
5.2 Honorable Mention: Yu-ting Huang, ‘The Perfect Environmentopia’ (Taiwan)
5.3 Honorable Mention: Da-fu Chiou, ‘The Perfect Environmentopia’ (Taiwan)
5.4 Honorable Mention: Po-han Yi, ‘The Diary of Chen Yi-zhe’ (Taiwan)
The Epic Eco-Inventions available in Ottawa
For a limited time, the first book in the Voices of Future Generations book series, The Epic Eco-Inventions by Jona David will be available at Chapters Rideau in Ottawa, Canada
Bristol Big Green Week Festival
Join 9-year-old Jona David, author of the first Voices of Future Generations book ‘The Epic Eco-Inventions’, on June 13 2015 at Bristol, United Kingdom, for an inspiring and entertaining children’s book reading on the small Big Green walk stage at noon then another book reading and eco-inventions drawing workshop , from 2.30 to 4.10 pm.
Our first child author, presented his book, The Epic Eco-Inventions (UN / VoFG 2014) at the University of Cambridge / CISDL / UNEP-WCMC / CIFOR Symposium on Biodiversity, Sustainable Development and the Law in February 2015
Nine-year-old Jona David, the author of The Epic Eco-Inventions, explains why and how children must stand up for each other and their environment
Our first author, 9 year old Jona David tells the Guardian that children have the right to a voice and to be heard Link
Launch of the Chinese Version of the Voices of Future Generations website
Voices of Future Generations Children's Book series is proud to annouce the launch of the Chinese version of its website. It is aimed at all Chinese writing Child Authors in Asia. The deadline for submission in Asia is March 25th 2015. A panel will then select ten stories from the submissions for the consideration of the International Commission.
The Chinese website may be accessed at http://voicesoffuturegenerations.asia
Children's Rights and Eco Inventions Workshop and Book Signing Event at Heffers, Cambridge, UK
Appointment of Three Goodwill Ambassadors
The Voices of Future Generations International Commission is very proud to announce the appointment of three Goodwill Ambassadors:
These distinguished international leaders will, with their characteristically inspiring and dedicated energy, champion the selection of three new Child Authors from the Pacific Islands, from Asia and from Latin America over the coming year.
Launch of the Voices of Future Generation Series in London
On the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in the world, the United Nations and the World Future Council have partnered to host the launch of the first children's book in a new international series, "Voice of FutureGenerations" together with a consortium of educational charities including the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the Trust for Sustainable Living, and the Office of the Commissioner for Future Generations of Hungary ( #VofG ).Held at the Science Museum in London UK, in honour of HE Judge CG Weeramantry UNESCO Peace Education Prize Laureate and former Vice-President of theInternational Court of Justice, a special inter-generational learning circle and book launch engaged school children and international student leaders in earnest discussion with esteemed academics and learned professionals in the children's rights and environmental protection fields. Two intensive round table identified emerging global challenges and barriers to children's rights to education and a clean environment, and shared innovative solutions to realize these rights that are being promoted today, all over the world, by world leaders, dedicated international organizations, educational institutions, civilsociety and children themselves. Professor Kirsten Sandberg, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rightsof the Child provided thoughtful and provoking opening remarks, then His Excellency Justice CG Weeramantry led two very lively roundtable discussions. Master Madiwa Adjepong-Boateng (10) of Saint John's College School Cambridge, gave an excellent presentation, identifying global environmental problems such as climate change, pollution and desertification, and barriers to education which include war and conflict, diseases like Ebola and corruption. In his words, "Corruption becomes a challenge to education when trusted public officials make themselves rich from stealing money that could have been used to provide classrooms and text books for children and salaries for teachers."The Series first selected child author, Master Jona David (9) of King's College School Cambridge, highlighted new solutions that are needed, including schools and comunities adopting eco-technologies such as solar and wind power so that children's interest in eco-science would be 'sparked', hybrid buses and bikes for transport, and extreme recycling; world leaders promoting a greener economy with jobs that don't hurt the environment in the future; and children forming eco-clubs, leading global movements to plant trees and prevent climate change, and writing books to speak out. He commented that education must be the right kind of education, and that as adults we must look closely at what we are teaching children. The second selected global child author, Miss Kehkashan Basu (14) provided a motivating online presentation from her home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and introduced her book, 'The Tree of Hope' about a girl involved in restoring degraded desert ecosystems and realising children's rights to water and the environment.International expert speakers such as Mr Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council; Ms Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director-General of the IUCN; Dr Marcel Szabo, Ombudsman for Future Generations of Hungary; Mr Karl Hansen, Director of the Trust for Sustainable Living; Dr Ashfaq Khalfan, Advisor to Amnesty International and CISDL Chair; Ms Anna R. Oposa, GlobalShaper of the World Economic Forum & Founder of Save Philippine Seas; Dr Nick Lush, Vice-Principal of the United World Colleges - Atlantic College; and Dr Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission; highlighted how progress has been achieved on children's civil and political rights,while recognizing that violations of children's economic, social, cultural and environmental rights are increasing. They shared new forms of education, international initiatives, and local solutions that support future generations who feel themselves to be part of their own countries, but also citizens of one world, with access to good quality education and a healthy and clean environment, facilitated by CISDL Senior Director Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger.The event closed with a special reception featuring the child author Jona David and the talented illustrator, Dr Carol Adlam, with celebratory toasts to the first book in the new Series, 'The Epic Eco-Inventions' from Baroness DrJulie Smith of Newnham; Dr Marcel Szabo of the Future Generations Commission, and a leader in children's publishing, Ms Belinda Rasmussen of Macmillan Children's Books.The United Nations, the World Future Council and the consortium of partners are very grateful for the engagement and partnership of all, for a very splendid commencement to the inspiring 'Voices of Future Generations' children's book series initiative.
Voices of Future Generations Delegation at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in the world. On November 20, 2014, the United Nations held a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in New York to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its promulgation. A CISDL delegation took part in the event.
The event opened with an UNICEF #IMAGINE Launch event at which artist Yoko Ono presented her vision for peace, and children and musical performers shared the stage in song. UNICEF ambassadors also launched the Apple TouchCast app for iOS, which will enable millions of people to record their own version of the Lennon classic “Imagine”, and participate with Katy Perry, Courteney Cox, Idris Elba and other celebrities in the anticipated largest sing-along in history. Each shared version of the song will form part of a new remix of Imagine by David Guetta, to be released in New York’s Times Square and on iTunes on New Year’s Eve 2014 to raise awareness on the rights of children. For more information and to be a part of this project, please see UNICEF’s press release on the event: Link
At the UN General Assembly High-level meeting,His Excellency Sam K Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly presided over an open session. Mr Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Ms Marta Santo Pais, Assistant Secretary General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Ms Kirsten Sandberg, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ms Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as other special representatives and country representatives spoke. Together they expressed the view that much has been accomplished, much more needs to be done, and children’s rights extend into all facets of society from education, health, sexuality and economics to the environment and democratic participation.
The CISDL delegation also attended events in the afternoon. Ms Maysa Jalbout, fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Bookings Institution moderated an interactive panel discussion. At this, Mr Ehab Monzer, a child representative of the Lebanese Children’s Council shared his experience with and efforts to combat discrimination and religious hatred in the playground at school. MsBertha Condori Sinai, youth representative of Movimiento ATD Cuarto Mundo in Bolivia also spoke about the need for access to quality health care services for young girls who become pregnant. Mr Gideon Badagawa, Executive Director of the Private Sector Foundation in Uganda also called for the private sector to protect children’s rights and participate in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Country representatives, including a child representative from Iraq whose father was killed before his eyes and the Prime Minister of Sweden who grew up and thrived in a foster home, spoke of the importance of protecting children’s smiles. The representative of World Vision, a Non-Government Organization, emphasized that a world fit for children must be at the heart of the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. In addition, the representative of SOS Villages D’Enfants Benin enunciated the importance of climate change and population issues in relation to the rights of children. The events underscored the idea that civilization is built inside the family and that environmental and international peace begins at home.