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The worlds of sport and music join together for children at XV Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea

© UNICEF PACIFIC/2015/Palombi

PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 3 July 2015 – More than 1,300 children from across Papua New Guinea welcomed the arrival of the relay baton at the opening ceremonies of the XV Pacific Games at Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby by singing John Lennon’s inspirational song of hope for a better world, Imagine.

Many of the children singing at the stadium benefit from UNICEF programmes in Papua New Guinea and the uplifting moment merged the worlds of sport and music together on behalf of children. UNICEF knows that sports have the power to transform and improve the lives of children, and the singing of Imagine was yet another contribution to UNICEF’s global #IMAGINE initiative that highlights the rights of children, including their right to play. 

“By bringing together the worlds of sport and music at the opening of the XV Pacific Games, UNICEF hopes to raise global and regional awareness of the importance of children’s rights,” said Baba Danbappa, UNICEF Representative in Papua New Guinea. 

UNICEF supports Just Play – developed by the Oceania Football Confederation and partners – which gives children a ball, a coach and a safe place to play. More than 1,300 vulnerable children from Port Moresby’s disadvantaged settlements will have a chance to participate in Just Play sports activities during the XV Pacific Games, learning how to have fun with other children, be physically active and become confident in their abilities. These children would otherwise not have had any opportunity to be part of the Pacific Games experience. 

Combined with the integration of social messages, Just Play also helps children make healthy food choices; play together with girls, boys and children with disabilities; learn to respect each other; and, learn how to keep themselves safe. Just Play is part of the global #TeamUNICEF initiative which is built upon the deep-seated understanding that sports are a global force that can help drive and enhance positive change for children. Just Play encourages children throughout the Pacific region to grow, learn and develop through sport.  

UNICEF’s #IMAGINE initiative brings together the voices of people from around the world on behalf of a better future for children. #IMAGINE was launched on 20 November 2014 at the UN General Assembly to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Convention of the Rights on the Child. With the support of artist Yoko Ono and music producer David Guetta, and with participation by music stars like Katy Perry and and sports stars like Neymar Jr. and Pau Gasol, #IMAGINE allows people around the world to record their own version of the song on the UNICEF #IMAGINE app, available for free on the App Store and on Google Play. 

Recorded contributions to the song, including the singing by the children in Papua New Guinea at the XV Pacific Games, will be included in a world version of the song that is being produced by Guetta and will be launched globally later this year. 


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Papua-New Guinea and UNICEF Pacific and our work, please visit: and

Countries participating in the XV Pacific Games:

American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Islands, Northern Marianas, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna.

For more information, please contact:

Cifora Monier, UNICEF Papua New Guinea Tel +675-321-3000, email:

Noreen Chambers, UNICEF Papua New Guinea: Tel +675-321-3000, email:

Donna Hoerder, UNICEF Pacific, Tel + (679) 3236 100, email:

Kent Page, UNICEF New York (in Papua New Guinea), Tel +1-917-302-1735, email:




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