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President of Serbia, National Goodwill Ambassador and others join UNICEF celebrations in Serbia

BELGRADE, 12 December 2006 -  A 12-day-long programme in Serbia marking UNICEF’s 60th anniversary with the theme “Remembering the Past and Looking towards the Future” culminated in a reception held on 11 December with the participation of the President of Serbia and a large number of government officials, ambassadors, national and international partners, celebrities and opinion leaders.

President Boris Tadic was joined by UNICEF Area Representative (Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro) Ann-Lis Svensson, UNICEF National Ambassador, renowned film director,  Emir Kusturica and the Deputy Mayor of Belgrade, Radmila Hrustanovic, at the reception event which was compered by actress Branka Katic. It was a very special and emotional evening, and also an excellent advocacy event at the highest level for children, children’s rights and UNICEF’s mission in the country.

“I want to send a message: we must all unite for children because there are so many problems facing children that are not yet solved,” said President Tadic addressing the reception. “Turbulent times in our recent history brought about much violence and hate speech. This year, and the years to come, are a turning point not only for Serbia but for the other countries in our region. I would thus, want this day to be the beginning of a big effort to get rid of hate speech and violence and that all countries in the region become UNICEF’s Ambassadors. I commit myself to do my best,” President Tadic added.

Welcoming guests, UNICEF Area Representative Ann-Lis Svensson reminded all present that even though much had been achieved, much more remained to be done for children in Serbia and the children of the world. She praised the recently developed cooperation and partnership with the business community in Serbia who, together with ordinary Serbian citizens, are funding the “School without Violence” programme.

Emir Kusturica reiterated his honour and pride to be an Ambassador for UNICEF, which he described as “an organisation that works for all children in all countries independently of politics."

The musical part of the programme was a bridge between the past and the future.

There was a tribute to the YU Rock Mission which, in 1985, as part of the global Band AID event, gathered together the most famous musicians from all over former Yugoslavia to record a hit song “For a million years“ which raised USD 260,000 for UNICEF and children in need. Some of the original musicians and singers were present at the UNICEF anniversary event, cheering on the young members of the children’s choir who sang “Happy Birthday” to UNICEF and blew out the candles together with Ann-Lis, the President and Kusturica.

To mark the occasion of the 60th anniversary of UNICEF, the Post Office of Serbia issued a special postage stamp and collectors' pack.

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About UNICEF
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 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:

Jadranka Milanovic, Communication Officer, UNICEF Belgrade: Tel: +381 11 36 02 100, jmilanovic@unicef.org


 

 

 

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