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A digital journey through UNICEF's dream for children

© © UNICEF/2013
UNICEF is inviting the public to use a new website to follow the story of the development agenda that was set in 2000, and the impact it has had on children.

By Thomas Nybo

NEW YORK, United States of America, 5 April 2013 – Just over 12 years ago, the world came together to outline a vision and to set goals for a better world for millions by the end of 2015.

Today, the United Nations Secretary-General is marking 1,000 days until this date, and UNICEF is seizing the opportunity afforded by this benchmark date to reflect on this vision, from the perspective of children.

Although these developments are significant, there remains much more to be done. Without bold and sustained action, global commitments to universal primary education will not be realised if current trends continue, leaving millions of children out of school and denied their right to education in 2015.

Uneven progress: impressive gains and daunting disparities

Impressive gains have already been made: Over two billion people more gained access to clean and safe drinking water between 1990 and 2010; in many countries, many more children are now attending school and many more women are able to give birth safely.

But progress has been uneven. Millions of children have not benefitted from the improvements in their countries, and daunting disparities still exist.

UNICEF's Executive Director Anthony Lake yesterday drew attention to the 165 million stunted children around the world at the Global Leadership Meeting on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security in Madrid, Spain. For these children, the harmful impact of poor, inadequate nutrition is irreversible.

Since the adoption of the Declaration and the MDGs, UNICEF and its partners have been working to ensure that the well-being of children is at the heart of each goal – by assisting governments to align national laws and policies to international benchmarks; helping to deliver vital services, especially during times of emergency; and developing innovative and creative interventions to address challenges.

UNICEF has also used its voice to ensure that the millions of marginalized and vulnerable children who are at risk of being left behind in the quest to meet the goals are not forgotten.

Now, to mark the 1,000 day milestone, UNICEF is unveiling another element of that voice through a dedicated microsite: Launched today, UNICEF is inviting the public to use the site to follow the story of the development agenda that was set in 2000, and the impact it has had on children.

The microsite showcases the inspiring advances made for children through the joint efforts of UNICEF and its partners and draws attention to what still needs to be done to improve the life of the hardest-to-reach child – the 'last child'.

Keeping the focus on the most vulnerable – through digital engagement

The site gives digital audiences the chance to play their part in keeping the 'last child' at the top of the agenda, during the 1,000 days to come, but also during the discussions that have already begun about future development plans. It is the latest tool in UNICEF's digital strategy to engage the public about children's rights, equity and development.

Visitors to are encouraged to share what they learn with their social networks using the #lastchild1st hashtag, to become digital champions for UNICEF and to add their views to the vision for the world beyond 2015.

For two weeks, UNICEF will also be running a competition on the global Facebook page where anyone can nominate or vote for a person who they believe captures the spirit of 'putting the last child first'.






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