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Iberoamerican writers,celebrities call for steps forward for children

New York, 26 November 2002 - A distinguished group of imminent Iberoamerican writers and celebrities led by Nobel prizewinner José Saramago and former President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Belisario Betancur issued an urgent call on behalf of chidren Wednesday.

In the "Manifesto for an Economy and Democracy for Children and Adolescents" the group states that:

"Responsibility for the well-being of children rests not only with parents, teachers, and parents," the tract says. "But also with international financial corporations, multinational companies, the system of multilateral cooperation and private investors, all of whom must ensure that:

  • No child and/or adolescent suffer from hunger
  • All children and adolescents go to school.
  • No child and/or adolescent has to work and suffer from any type of exploitation and/or abuse.

The Notables, as the group is known, also appealed to UNICEF "to assume the task of impelling the dialogue between society and governments, of course involving children and adolescents in each of our countries."

UNICEF's upcoming flagship publication, The State of the World's Children - 2003 calls for greater inter-generational dialogue. The report asserts that participation of children is essential to preparing them for the responsibilities they will assume as adults, as well as to more cohesive societies.

Signatures were put to the document in a public ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the Salamanca University in Spain. Speaking up for children were Nobel laureate José Saramago and coordinator, former President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Belisario Betancur. Also: Ernesto Sabato, Jorge Enrique Adoum, Arturo Corcuera, Thiago de Mello, Carmen Alborch, Mario Benedetti, Carlos Fuentes, Ángeles Mastretta, Álvaro Mutis, Héctor Aguilar Camin, Rosa Montero, Rigoberta Menchu, Fernando Savater, Elena Poniatowska, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Monseñor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Antonio Skarmeta, Cristovam Buarque, Eulalio Ferrer, Manuel Viçent y Gabriel Garcia Marquez.





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