UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean


Latin America and the Caribbean to be represented at the Global Summit by Junior Delegate JeMeila Maloney

© UNICEF ECO/2008/Harper
UNICEF Representative Tom Olsen congratulates JeMeila Maloney on being selected to represent Latin America and the Caribbean at the J8 Summit.

Barbados, June 28, 2008 - When young people from the powerful G8 countries and some representatives from the developing world convene in Japan in early July to discuss burning global issues, the Latin America and Caribbean region will be well represented.


Je-Meila  Maloney, a 17-year-old Barbadian student, will be joining peers from around the world for the Junior 8 (J8) Summit - a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiative to bring together young people from G8 countries and the developing world to share their unique perspectives on burning global issues.


Each G8 country will be sending a team of four representatives to the July 2-9 summit in Chitose City, Hokkaido, Japan, with non G8 representatives coming from Barbados, Cote d’Ivoire, Iraq, Kyrgystan, Mongolia, Nepal and South Africa.


“I think the trip of itself will be the easy part. Coming back to the region and implementing programmes, trying to reach as many young people as possible will be the hard work and the type of hard work that I am definitely looking forward to,” said Je-Meila.


She mentined that while the young people at the conference will come from diverse background, she believes there will be a lot of common ground as they seek to work through the agenda which focuses on climate change and global warming; global health issues, including child survival and health challenges such as HIV/AIDS; along with poverty and development.


Such common ground, she said, was her experience while representing Barbados at a recent Emerging Global Leaders Conference in Canada.


“I was able to fit into a group with youth from China, Russia, Pakistan and those type of places and what was particularly striking for me is that when we sat down to have a discussion we spoke as if we went to primary school or secondary school together and for me that is what I would like to take to J8, that despite the distance in terms of miles we are all one people with similar issues, just different approaches.


“I hope to learn from them how they approach their social problems and I hope to share with them how we here in Latin America and the Caribbean approach our social issues as well,” she says.


Tom Olsen, UNICEF representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, said he was delighted that a competent young person from the Eastern Caribbean region was selected to represent the LAC region.


“I am sure JeMeila will represent us well and I look forward to her returning to the region and sharing her experience and knowledge with her peers in such a manner that we can all benefit from the experience.


“It’s a tremendous opportunity for her to meet her peers from around the world, and through sharing experiences, identify solutions to some of the problems facing not only young people, but indeed all age sectors in the region,” he added.


For further information
Patrick Knight, pknight@unicef.org, UNICEF Barbados and Eastern Caribbean

Elaine King, eking@unicef.org, UNICEF Barbados and Eastern Caribbean



UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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.


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