WHY CHILDREN MUST BE HEARD
Bellamy in Mexico To Launch UNICEF Flagship Report: The State
of the Worlds Children 2003
UNICEF Says Giving Young People A Constructive Role Is Essential
Their Development -- And to A More Cohesive, Peaceful World
NEW YORK, 6 December 2002 UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy
will launch UNICEFs annual State of the Worlds Children
report in Mexico City this coming Wednesday, 11 December, asserting
that children have a right to be heard in decisions that affect their
Mexican President Vicente Fox and First Lady Sahagún de Fox
will lead a distinguished group of participants in the launch events,
which will also include Latin American children.
The key point of the report: At a time when uncertainty in the world
is high and polls show that children lack confidence in governments,
it is essential that adults listen to children and involve them in the
decisions that will affect their lives both today and in the future.
Such child participation has important benefits for
the healthy development individual children and for their communities
and countries as a whole.
The report is embargoed until 1300 GMT, Wednesday 11 December 2002.
The launch of SOWC 2003 will include the presentation of the report,
an open dialogue between young people and adult leaders, and a Q&A
with the international media. Here is the schedule:
Presentation of The State of the Worlds Children
When: 9:30 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.
December 11, 2002
Where: Teatro de las Artes
Centro Nacional de las Artes
Rio Churubusco 79, esq. Calzada de Tlalpan
Colonia Country Club
Who: Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF
Vicente Fox Quesada, President of Mexico
Marta Sahagún de Fox, First Lady
Angeles Mastretta, Mexican writer and poet; member of the Iberoamerican
Commission of Personalities for Children and Adolescents
Young People from Mexico, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic; delegates
to the United Nations Special Session on Children, May 2002.
An open discussion, moderated by children, between children and adult
leaders. Among the adult participants will be high-level representatives
of the three branches of government, civil society, the academic community,
and the media. The dialogue will build on topics discussed at the U.N.
Special Session on Children in May 2002 and may include: education;
the fight against poverty; violence; and other topics.
When: 10:10 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. (immediately following presentation
of the report)
Where: Same venue
Who: Representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches
of government; the Federal Electoral Institute; civil society organizations;
the private sector; the media, and Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive
When: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon (immediately following the dialogue)
Where: Same venue
Who: Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director
Additional Background on State of the Worlds Children
Among other things, the report argues that children must be given more
of a voice and more ways to participate in decisions affecting their
- Tens of millions of young people around the world feel disconnected
from political institutions and lack trust in their governments.
- What young people learn through participation is co-operation, conflict
negotiation, respect for diversity, and tolerance key elements
to building peace.
- The downside to not allowing young people to participate is a world
of young adults who fail to develop vital skills, including the ability
to express themselves, negotiate differences, make responsible life
choices and assume responsibility for themselves.
The State of the Years Children 2003 caps off a breakthrough year
for child participation. During the Special Session on Children in May
2002, children addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time
in history as official members of delegations representing governments
They spoke passionately, honestly and with much hope of something only
they could understand: the experience of being children and growing
up in the 21st century. They demanded more input into decision-making,
and increased action on the part of leaders for education, health care
and protection. Governments, in turn, promised to work for and with
children to build a world fit for children.
Other events in which Carol Bellamy will participate during her visit
Presentation of the Mexican National Programme of Action for Children.
The National Programme of Action for Children articulates Mexicos
promise to create a world fit for children. In May 2002, all Member
States of the United Nations committed themselves to a series of time-bound
goals for children in the areas of health, education, protection, and
AIDS. This is Mexicos plan for achieving those goals.
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2002
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Where: Los Pinos Oficial Residence, Mexico City
Who: Ms. Bellamy will be honorary guest for the presentation
of the National Programme of Action for 2002-2010. President Vicente
Fox will preside. Members of his Social Cabinet will be present.
Meeting with members of the Mexican Senate. Ms. Bellamy will meet with
Senators to exchange ideas on reforming the juvenile justice system
When: Wednesday, 11 December 2002
6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Where: Offices of the Senate of the Republic, Centro Histórico,
Who: Ms. Bellamy and members of the Senate Justice Commission
and the Senate Human Rights Commission.
For further information or interviews, please contact:* * * *
Salvador Herencia, Communication
Chief, UNICEF Latin America
Tel.: (52-55) 52-02-32-33, ext. 407 / Cell: (52-55) 044-55 5807-6838
Catherine Langevin, Communication
Chief, UNICEF Mexico City
Tel.: (52-55) 52-02-32-33, ext. 203 / Cell: (52-55) 044-55 2141-0711
Wolfgang Friedl, UNICEF Mexico
Tel.: (52-55) 52-02-32-33, ext. 407 / Cell: (52-55) 044-55 5807-6851
Monica Sayrols, UNICEF Mexico
Tel.: (52-55 ) 52-02-32-33, ext. 207 / Cell: (52-55) 044-55 5419-4962
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Mexico
Cell: (001) 646-207-5182
Broadcasters: Order video b-roll: http://www.unicef.org/broadcast/brolls/sowc2003/index.html