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27th January 2010 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador urges young people to promote peace

Khartoum - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ricardo Montaner urged young people in Sudan to work together for peace at an event in Khartoum today.

Mr Montaner, a singer and songwriter, spoke to about 1,000 pupils at Zat El Nitagain Basic School for girls during a three-day visit to Sudan with his family.

During the event, which was attended by the State Minister of the Federal Ministry of General Education, Haleema Hassaballa El Naeem, UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg, and other senior officials, young people were asked to sign up as ambassadors for peace.

The young people were given certificates and a suggestion list of simple actions they can carry out to promote peace in their own lives.

“I am very honoured to be here today promoting peace,” said Mr Montaner, an Argentinian-Venezuelan musician.

Mr Montaner is visiting Sudan with his wife, Marlene Rodriguez, and their three children Ricky, Mauricio and Evaluna.

“"It is quite unique for two cultures to interact as we did, and to be part of a historic movement to mobilise young people as ambassadors for peace" said Ricky, who played and sang to the students with his brother Mauricio.
The Goodwill Ambassador, his family and the students all wore t-shirts with the peace logo and slogan used to promote the peace campaign, which the Ministry of Education and UNICEF hope will reach every Sudanese school.

UNICEF hopes that the youngsters who have become ambassadors will promote messages of peace and reconciliation in their homes and in their communities.
“We are keen to encourage children and young people to realise they can contribute to sustainable peace in Sudan by becoming peace envoys and positive role models in their communities,” UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg said.

On Tuesday January 26th Mr Montaner spent the day visiting schools for children with special needs. On Thursday January 28th he will travel to Juba for the day.

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, safe 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.



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