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HRH Grand Duchess of Luxembourg becomes Eminent Advocate for Children

© Credit: ©UNICEF Geneva/2007/Ferre
Her Royal Highness Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa ( C ) as an Eminent Advocate for Children and UNICEF Director Ann M. Veneman ( R ) and UNAIDS Executive Directot Dr Peter Piot (L)
GENEVA, 19 April 2007 – UNICEF today named Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa as an Eminent Advocate for Children in a ceremony which included the Grand Duchess, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot.

“UNICEF is delighted that Her Royal Highness has agreed to serve as an Eminent Advocate for Children,” said Veneman. “We look forward to working closely together to maximize results for children and to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

As a champion for children, the Grand Duchess has traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal and Laos heightening awareness around the issues of child soldiers, children affected by HIV and AIDS and commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Grand Duchess is the Patron of the Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF, and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO since 1997, promoting girls’ education and micro-credit as tools against poverty.

"I believe the most important thing we can do for children is to protect them and help provide them with the life skills and knowledge they need, to have healthy lives and a  better future," Her Royal Highness said.  "UNICEF's work is based on the worth and dignity of the child, and I am proud to be part of that mission."

As a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Royal Highness will focus on children impacted by conflict and children who are affected by HIV and AIDS.

"If we are to achieve the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support then all children need to access essential services such as education, health care and social welfare. Appropriate consideration needs to be given to the allocation and use of resources to achieve these objectives," said UNAIDS Executive Director, Peter Piot. "We hope the Grand Duchess can help highlight these needs and bring these important messages to world," he said.

The title of Eminent Advocate for Children is conferred by UNICEF upon high profile personalities who are already working on behalf of children in a particular area.

On 26 January 2007, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan became the first Eminent Advocate for Children at the World Economic Forum in Davos – a recognition of her work to promote child survival and education.


In 2005, UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners launched Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS, which targets four key areas: prevention of mother to child transmission; treatment of paediatric AIDS; education programmes for prevention; and support for orphans and vulnerable children.

Attention broadcasters:   B-roll of the event will be sent out via EBU. The event will be in French and English.

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.

For further information please contact:
Veronique Taveau, UNICEF Geneva, Tel:  (+41 22) 909 5715 vtaveau@unicef.org
Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, Tel:  (+1 212) 326 7452  kdonovan@unicef.org




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