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Young leaders discuss the state of the world’s children

UNICEF South Africa/2016/Reddy
© UNICEF South Africa/2016/Reddy
UNICEF Representative Herve de Lys presents the State of the World’s Children Report to conference participants.

Johannesburg, 30 June 2016 - “African Development: Youth Voices on Agenda 2030” was the theme of this year’s Young Leaders Conference hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). It was thus fitting that UNICEF’s seminal State of the World’s Children Report 2016 (SOWC) was launched at this key gathering of young people.

In light of the matters under discussion, this Special Session on Children was addressed by the UNICEF Representative for South Africa, Herve de Lys, who highlighted some of the findings of the report and spoke about the work of UNICEF in assisting the development of children both in South Africa and globally.

The address was followed by an interactive discussion period with the 75 participants from both high schools and universities throughout Gauteng province. A range of issues were highlighted here, from how to prevent violence against children to ways to make the voices of children heard. It is with this in mind that one of the participants lamented that young people “are sometimes heard, but seldom listened to.” There was broad consensus that the contribution of young people to their very own futures needs to be taken into consideration at all times.

UNICEF South Africa is pleased to have had the opportunity to engage with tomorrow’s leaders to find ways to support and advance the development of children everywhere. In handing over copies of the UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report 2016 to the participants, Mr. de Lys reminded delegates that “investing in the most disadvantaged is not only right in principle, but a practical and strategic imperative.”

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Download the remarks by UNICEF Representative Herve Ludovic de Lys at the launch of the State of the World's Children 2016 [PDF]





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