Working together

UNICEF’s National Committees unite for children

© UNICEF/HQ05-1446/Markisz
Serving as the public face and dedicated voice of UNICEF in the industrialized world, the National Committees work tirelessly to raise funds, promote advocacy and secure worldwide visibility for children threatened by poverty, disasters, armed conflict, abuse and exploitation. In 2005, the 37 National Committees raised nearly 37 per cent of all UNICEF income. In advocacy and programme activities, the global campaign Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS is one of the outstanding contributions made by the Committees.

The National Committees began developing the Campaign in 2004 as a way to reach children orphaned by AIDS. In line with international commitments – including the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2005 World Summit – the theme was broadened to cover all children affected by HIV/AIDS. Many National Committees appointed a manager and team specifically for this campaign. By early 2005, thanks to the active leadership of the National Committees, work began to take shape – in the field and in the industrialized world, with preparations for an autumn launch.

The National Committees were involved at all stages of Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS, participating in the core group and its steering committees to provide ideas on strategies, programming, advocacy, resource mobilization and communications messaging. They were an important part of global meetings with UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and donor governments that established policies, strategies and budgets. They also assisted with developing key messages and preparing the launch report.

As UNICEF and partners conducted the global launch in New York City on 25 October 2005, National Committees and Regional and Country Offices organized events in more than 30 countries around the world.

Tireless support for children

Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS is not an isolated example of how the National Committees support the UNICEF mission. Out of all funds received by UNICEF in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami through 2005, National Committees raised 73 per cent, or nearly $500 million. In response to the earthquake in South Asia, the Committees raised over $44 million, or 45 per cent of all UNICEF donations.

National Committees rally many different partners – media, ministers, mayors and other government officials, young people, NGOs, doctors, lawyers, police, corporations and the general public – around child rights.

In 2005, guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as the MDGs, National Committees lobbied governments, the European Union and the G8. They conducted mass information, media and fund-raising campaigns and presented exhibitions and special events.

The Committees also developed informative materials on topics ranging from HIV/AIDS and children in developing and industrialized countries, to female genital mutilation/ cutting, child trafficking and sexual exploitation, and ongoing humanitarian crises in such places as Darfur (Sudan).