UNICEF e-newsletter

On its 60th anniversary, UNICEF celebrates the past and looks ahead 8 December 2006

Established to provide short-term relief to children in post-World War II Europe, UNICEF was never meant to be here in the first decade of the 21st century. Yet today, a world without UNICEF is unimaginable.

On the occasion of UNICEF’s 60th anniversary, here is a brief look back.

1946-1959: An agency for children is born
UNICEF came to life on 11 December 1946 at the first session of the United Nations General Assembly. In 1953, the agency became a permanent part of the United Nations. In 1959, the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child stated that hunger, poverty, disease, discrimination and ignorance represented a violation of children’s basic rights.

1960-1979: The development decades
UNICEF was to provide more than just humanitarian relief. In the 1960s and ’70s, nutrition and health, education and family issues became additional areas of focus.

1980-1989: The silent emergency
Despite decades of humanitarian work, by 1980 some 15 million children were still dying of preventable causes each year. At this time, the ‘Child Survival Revolution’ began, with an emphasis on immunization and other lifesaving interventions.

1990-1999: Recognizing child rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1990, went on to become the most universally adopted international treaty in history.

2000-2006: Children at the heart of development
The Millennium Development Goals were set forth in 2000 as a blueprint for global development, and the UN Special Session on Children, held in 2002, brought youth participation to the fore.

What began as a temporary experiment 60 years ago has become the world’s leading agency for children. Millions of young lives have been saved and transformed, but millions more face new challenges of HIV/AIDS and conflict worldwide.

Thank you for your support as, united for children, we continue to make history together.

For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection

On 11 December 1946, the new United Nations created the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund – UNICEF – to provide humanitarian relief to children in the aftermath of World War II.

Video: Watch a compilation of great moments from UNICEF’s first 60 years.
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Related Links:

UNICEF celebrates its 60th anniversary

Rock benefit concerts in UNICEF’s history

Vanessa Redgrave’s UNICEF documentary



Below are more 60th anniversary links that you may be interested in:

‘Wake Up World’
Goodwill Ambassador Vanessa Redgrave and her son, filmmaker Carlo Nero, have produced a new documentary to mark UNICEF’s 60th anniversary. Watch a clip and learn more.

Music to UNICEF’s ears
Rock ’n roll benefit concerts began in 1971 when George Harrison and Ravi Shankar teamed up with UNICEF to put on the Concert for Bangladesh. Take a musical trip down memory lane.

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