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At a glance: Italy

‘I’m Part of the G8 Too!’ – Website gives people a virtual seat at the G8 Summit

© UNICEF Italy/2009
A new website called ‘I’m Part of the G8 Too!’ brings online visitors together to show their support for the UNICEF goals at the global summit.

The G8 Summit is scheduled to take place in L’Aquila, Italy, in July. This is one in a series of articles on UNICEF’s preparations for the event.

NEW YORK, USA, 22 June 2009 – You may not have a seat at next month’s G8 summit, but a new website by UNICEF’s Italian National Committee is offering what might be the next best thing: a way to communicate with the leaders there.

The programme – called ‘I’m Part of the G8 Too!’ – brings online visitors together to show their support for the three goals UNICEF aims to achieve at the meeting in L’Aquila:

  • Secure continued funding for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTC) of HIV, and for diagnosing babies as soon as possible
  • Focus attention on the special vulnerability of girls to HIV and AIDS
  • Reinforce an existing commitment by the G20 countries to social protection, with an emphasis on ensuring that social systems are both child-sensitive and AIDS-inclusive. 

Social protection uses measures ranging from transfers of cash to legislation to support health, financial stability and equality for children and their families.

How the programme works

The ‘I’m Part of the G8 Too!’ site encourages visitors to leave their names, and to upload a picture showing what it means for them to have a place at the summit. All of the photos will be compiled into an online gallery, with the best ones selected for the programme’s homepage. 

Ultimately, the site will serve as an interactive online petition. On 9 July, delegates from the J8, the junior version of the G8, will personally deliver the names of those participating in the ‘I’m Part of the G8 Too’ programme – and a selection of the best photos – to leaders attending the meeting. 

The J8 brings together young people aged 14-17 from around the world to consider the same issues the G8 countries address, and to draft recommendations for the leaders to consider.

Cost-effective efforts

At the gathering in L’Aquila, signs of support for UNICEF’s goals will be crucial.  Evidence from previous global economic crises indicates that women and children often fare worst at such times. 

The organization wants to ensure that funding for programmes to aid the most vulnerable – including those affected by HIV and AIDS – is protected despite the downturn.

It is far more cost-effective to protect funding for HIV programmes at current levels than to cut it now for short-term gain – and hope to restore it later.  What’s more, cuts would undermine the moral and legal right of children to enjoy both the highest possible level of health and the best chance for survival.

A voice for children

The original gathering of leaders that evolved into the G8 came in response to another global money crisis in the early 1970s.  At first, the participating countries concentrated on economic and financial matters alone.  But, over time, the agenda expanded to include other areas of world concern, including development.

The July meeting in Italy carries the same sense of urgency that led to the G8’s creation, but comes with a broader sense of mission.  UNICEF will use its expertise to help underscore the ways in which that mission can include the planet’s children

When advocates for competing issues clamour for attention at any big summit, it’s easy for members of the public to feel that their voices aren’t being heard at the highest levels.  The ‘I’m Part of the G8 Too!’ programme offers a creative way to communicate to world leaders one’s personal commitment to supporting child health and survival.       



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