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Press Release

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy set
to arrive in Uganda

KAMPALA , August 13, 2001 - On her first visit to Uganda, Carol Bellamy, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), will launch the Girls' Education Movement (GEM) together with President Museveni, the Forum for Women Educationalists (FAWE), the Ministry of Education and young delegates from Africa.

15 - 17 August 2001 KAMPALA - UGANDA

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GIRLS' EDUCATION

Bellamy, who will be in Uganda from 14-16 of August, will meet with a wide-range of officials and youth from across Africa and make on-site visits to UNICEF programme activities. Bellamy comes to Uganda from the DRC and Angola where she witnessed the second round of the polio immunization campaign. In the DRC, she toured border regions to oversee critical cross-border immunization operations in camps for displaced persons. In Angola, together with the Minister of Justice, she launched the Child Registration Campaign to promote birth registration-the right to an official identity and the state's first acknowledgement of a child's existence.

Girls' Education Movement (GEM)

September 19 - 21

Visit the
Special Session Website

For the first time-ever, girls from across Africa will lead the debate with Ministers of Education on the barriers that exclude

girls from the educational system. Together with a panel of experts, they will discuss creative and dynamic solutions for improvement. The Girls' Education Movement is a major effort to transform schools and education systems into environments where girls can achieve and have equal opportunities. The three-day forum will discuss safety and security, gender in the curriculum and excluded children. In the belief that girls' education is one of the most effective development investments a country can make, the Forum will issue a GEM Platform for Action, which will be personally delivered by the President of Uganda to UN Special Session on Children.

At 12:30, following the official opening of the GEM Conference, there will be a press conference in the press room in the Addis Pub at the Nile International Conference Center.

During her stay, Bellamy will visit President Museveni, as well as hold talks with the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Ms. Anne Kristin Sydnes, who is also visiting Uganda. On Wednesday morning, Bellamy will visit the AIDS Widow Orphans Family Support (AWOFS) group in Nsambya.

On Thursday, she will go to the Mulago Hospital to visit the mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission centre. "UNICEF's top priority remains the prevention of this dreadful disease [HIV/AIDS] and, to do so, we are committed to working to ensure that every young person - from the Cape to Cairo - has access to basic information on how to avoid infection, and to make sure they have it by 2005," Bellamy said earlier this year while touring Africa. "Only education can empower young people with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from infection. Only education can combat the discrimination that helps perpetuate the pandemic. And only education can help children and young people acquire the knowledge and develop the skills they need to build a better future - the better future that the international community promised every child a decade ago, at the World Summit for Children. "

"UNICEF is challenging governments, local leaders, teachers and young people to help transform schools and education systems into hubs of activity and enterprise in the battle against HIV/AIDS - centred not only on reading and writing, but on preventing the spread of the disease while supporting those affected by it - and strengthening the communities where they live." "UNICEF is convinced that leadership and partnership, the mobilisation of a Global Movement for Children, are key to achieving all of this. But without significant additional resources, these commitments will remain as dreams."

***

For further information please contact:

Madeline Eisner, Regional Communication Officer, UNICEF ESARO + 256-77-652978 (mobile) E-mail: meisner@unicef.org

Mads Oyen, Information and Communications Officer, UNICEF Kampala
E-mail: moyen@unicef.org +256-77-629514 (mobile) +256-41-234591 (office)

Emilie Dyer, Communications Consultant, UNICEF Kampala +256-77-652809 (mobile)
E-mail: Guest-fromESARO_at_PO623A01@smtplink.unicef.org