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San Rossore 2007 Conference explores a new global vision for children and women

© UNICEF Italy
Claudio Martini, President of the Tuscany Region, during the opening session of the San Rossore conference.

SAN ROSSORE PARK, Tuscany, Italy, 19 July 2007 – UNICEF joined forces with the Tuscany Region today at a conference in San Rossore under the theme: “Children and Women: Fulfilling their rights, developing their talents, advancing the Millennium Agenda.”

More than 1,000 people, including children and young people, local and national government officials, international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), converged on the sprawling grounds of the park, located a few kilometers from Pisa. Participants came from Italy, other parts of Europe and the developing world – who at the end of the day would present a San Rossore Declaration on Children, expressing their commitment to advancing the rights of children.

During the opening session, Claudio Martini, President of the Tuscany Region, thanked UNICEF for its collaboration in the meeting.  “The conditions under which children live are very clearly linked to the conditions under which women live,” he said, stressing that “opportunities for the expression of the talents of children” must be provided.

San Rossore 2007 is a high-level policy and advocacy meeting bringing together government representatives and decision-makers with the goal of placing children at the centre of the policy and public agenda. The ideas and proposals coming out of today’s meeting will be shared with world leaders at the UN General Assembly five-year review of the Special Session on Children to be held in December 2007. 

“We look forward to hearing from the participants at this conference what your countries and communities are doing to protect the rights of children and maximise their well-being,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Kul Gautam, in a video tribute. 

Keynote speakers during the plenary sessions at today’s event included representatives from the Council of Europe, African Child Policy Forum, World Organisation of the Scout Movement, World Conference of Religions for Peace and other advocates for children. A video tribute from Enrique V. Iglesias, Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Secretariat was also shown.

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre Director, Marta Santos Pais, shared a preliminary report card in advance of the Special Session review, citing positive changes for children that have been introduced in Europe and elsewhere, such as new national legislation, improvements in data, incorporation of child rights in school curricula and other advances.  Yet despite progress, “the lives of millions of children continue to be marked by poverty, marginalisation, exclusion and exploitation,” she said.

UNICEF reports and studies by the Innocenti Research Centre have documented that there is an unacceptable level of child poverty and deprivation in parts of Europe and other industrialised countries, as in developing countries. 

“In a world of unprecedented prosperity … we don’t seem to find enough resources to save the lives of 10 million children who die every year unnecessarily,” said Kul Gautam.

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Note to the Editors:

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre is the main research arm of UNICEF. It was founded in 1988 to improve international understanding of children’s rights and promote CRC implementation in both industrialised and developing countries.  Broadcast of the conference, the video tributes and three UNICEF coordinated round-table discussions can be found at the UNICEF IRC website: http://www.unicef-irc.org/.  The discussions will focus on addressing child poverty and deprivation, preventing social exclusion – including among migrant children - and promoting local good governance for children’s rights.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. 

For more information, please contact:

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence
Salvador Herencia Tel: +39 055 20 33 354, sherencia@unicef.org

Allyson Alert, Tel: +39 055 20 33 226, aalert@unicef.org 

 

 

 

 

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