Armenia marks the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
State of the World’s Children and Children’s Chamber Orchestra of UNICEF launched
YEREVAN, 20 November 2009 – On 20 November UNICEF and the National Assembly of Armenia jointly organised the launch of the Special Edition of the State of the World’s Children along with “Children are not toys” photo exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“The Convention on the Rights of the Child was among the first international documents along with Human Rights Declaration to be signed by Armenia immediately after the country re-gained independence in 1992. This important document puts on us a special responsibility – a responsibility to for the future of our country and its prosperity, and we have to do everything we can together with other stakeholders to make sure that every provision of the Convention is put into action,” Chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan said in his opening remarks.
The title of the photo exhibition is symbolic. In the past, children were all too often viewed more as property than people. Many victories for children's rights have been won in the last 20 years, such as laws on education and health, allowing all children to have access to learning and health services; social protection laws, promoting children’s right to live in a family, denouncing child labor and preventing child abuse. But there is still much to do in protecting children's rights around the world, stressed Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.
Along with the exhibition, UNICEF’s Special Edition of the State of the World’s Children addresses the paramount importance of child rights.
“The Convention that we are celebrating today is not just a visionary document. It is also an agreement that works on a daily basis, and its utility can be seen in its everyday use, in the way different entities, international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, are putting its elements in their strategies, policies and practice,” UNICEF Representative emphasized.
On the same day UNICEF and Beeline company announced about the establishment of the Children’s Chamber Orchestra of UNICEF as part of activities to commemorate 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“What we have created is not just an orchestra as the mission of these young musicians goes beyond playing music. We have now 23 committed young advocates of child rights that through their inspirational performance will stand up for the rights of children in Armenia and educate communities on the importance of investing in children,” UNICEF Representative in Armenia Laylee Moshiri said, addressing an audience of high-ranking officials and diplomatic corps that have joined UNICEF and Beeline in celebrations of the Convention’s anniversary.
The Children’s Chamber Orchestra of UNICEF is a unique project. Its aim is to play child rights on musical instruments, to communicate important messages on child rights through the inspirational language of music. “I think each of us will agree that the world would be dull and boring without two things: children and music”, Sergey Smbatian, a 22-year old conductor of the orchestra stressed.
Established with the financial support of Beeline, one of Armenia’s leading telecommunication companies, as well as through efforts of the Tchaykovsky Musical School, Vladimir Spivakov Foundation and the Ministry of Culture in Armenia, the first in the region Children’s Chamber Orchestra will also have a fundraising mission and will help UNICEF to mobilise resources for the cause of Armenian children.
UNICEF established its presence in Armenia in 1994. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to meet their full potential.
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