|© UNICEF/2005/Sean Gleason/Idols|
|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football legend David Beckham.|
LONDON, United Kingdom, 20 March 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham has called on young people to take part in UNICEF’s Junior 8 Summit, a young person’s version of the annual G8 meeting of world leaders. Beckham called on 13- to 17-year-olds in G8 nations to enter the competition for a chance to represent their countries at the J8 Summit in Japan.
The J8 will provide young people with a platform to speak out about the global issues that are important to them, and to voice their concerns to the world. The winning team chosen from each G8 nation will present a communiqué of global proposals to the G8, jointly written by the J8 delegation.
‘Children have lots to say’
On hearing about UNICEF’s innovative J8 competition, Mr. Beckham lent his support through a video message:
“At UNICEF’s Junior 8 event later this year, young people from all over the world will gather in Japan, where the G8 is taking place, and have their voices and ideas heard by eight of the world’s most powerful leaders. Children have lots to say and good points to make. I think they should be listened to.
“After all, the issues that are discussed at meetings like the G8 affect children and young people just as much as adults. UNICEF is looking for young people to be part of J8. I really hope loads of children and young people will stand up and want to take part.”
Winning teams invited to Japan
To win a place at the J8 Summit in Japan on 2-9 July, teams of four young people need to enter a competition that involves producing videos, multimedia presentations or written work based on the J8 topics: poverty and development; the impact of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, on child survival; and climate change and global warming.* The winning team of four from each G8 country will be invited to the J8 Summit, joining young representatives from the developing world.
David Beckham’s message to young people concludes:
“Whatever you do, wherever you are from, as a young person, you have the power to make people listen. UNICEF’s J8 Summit gives children and young people from around the world the chance to come together, talk about what matters to them in the world and make sure the G8 leaders listen.
“J8 is giving young people a voice. They have a right to be heard, and so do you. Find out how you could be one of them. Visit www.j8summit.com.”
* Please note that the J8 competition has closed in the US and France but remains open for young people in the other G8 countries and in non-G8 countries.