UNICEF Chief Vows Renewed Drive to Protect
Rights of All Children
BOSTON / NEW YORK, 29 September - Carol Bellamy, Executive
Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, said today
that the postponement of the biggest global meeting on
children in more than a decade had only deepened UNICEF's
resolve to fulfil its mandate of ensuring the survival,
protection and development of every child.
"The drive for child rights goes on - and UNICEF
and its many partners are more determined than ever to
see it through," Bellamy told a conference on children
and violence in Boston.
The long-planned UN meeting, the General Assembly Special
Session on Children, was to have met from 19-21 September.
Despite commitments from more than 80 heads of State and
Government, it was postponed in the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks in New York, Washington DC and western Pennsylvania.
It is expected to be rescheduled for sometime in the first
half of 2002.
In a keynote address to the Conference today, sponsored
by the Brookline-based Coalition for a Strong United Nations,
Bellamy said the attacks had struck a blow not only at
the United States, but at "the entire international
"Almost overnight, the world's political and economic
landscape has been transformed," Bellamy told the
Conference. "But our mandate remains unchanged -
to confront violence, bigotry and hatred with the same
determination that we attack the causes from which they
spring: conflict, ignorance, poverty and disease.
The Executive Director noted that humanitarian emergencies,
including the proliferation of armed conflict, continue
to take a horrific toll on children.
In Afghanistan alone, she said, the UN estimates that
7.5 million civilians - more than 70 per cent of them
women and children - are at risk in a humanitarian crisis
that has begun to assume "stunning" proportions.
She also noted the effects of violence on children in
developed countries, including domestic child abuse, school
shootings - and the attacks of Sept. 11th, in which an
estimated 15,000 children lost one or both parents.
"Human security does not imply simply the absence
of war," Bellamy declared. "It means having
the confidence that our children will not die of measles
or malaria. It means having access to clean water and
proper sanitation. It means having primary schools close
to our homes that educate our children free of charge.
It means having the basics of life that allow quality
of life. It means building a world fit for children, where
every child can grow to adulthood in health, peace and
For further information contact:
Liza Barrie, UNICEF Media Section, New
Tel.: 212-326-7593, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media Section,
Tel: 212-326-7261, e-mail: email@example.com