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UNICEF celebrates 60 years for children

 Kyiv, 11 December 2006 - Six decades after its inception as a temporary relief agency, UNICEF is marking its 60th anniversary today, celebrating its many achievements on behalf of children all over the world.

In 1946 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to create the agency that was to become known worldwide as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).Born from the ashes of World War II, UNICEF's first mission was to provide milk, food, blankets and medicine to millions of European children left hungry, homeless and weakened by war.

It soon became clear that millions of children around the world would need help today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. UNICEF broadened its mandate beyond European borders to help children suffering from poverty and illness throughout the world.

Ever since then UNICEF has been on an evolutionary journey, adapting to meet the needs of children in an ever changing world. The scope of UNICEF's mission and geographic reach grew exponentially, always putting children's needs above politics.

Sixty years later, UNICEF has saved more children than any other humanitarian organization in the world. And at the same time UNICEF has been putting children at the centre of the international development agenda.

Children are today an important part of global strategies to reduce illness, poverty and mortality while boosting education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. Children are at the very heart of the Millennium Development Goals and in the coming years UNICEF will continue to push for the needs of children, centering its efforts on reaching the targets by 2015.

UNICEF opened its office in Ukraine in 1997 and since then has been working closely and building partnerships with national and local government, civil society and local communities, assisting in efforts to protect and promote children's rights, to ensure that children's basic needs and opportunities to reach their full human potentials are met.

Within its current Country Programme of Cooperation with the Government of Ukraine for 2006 to 2010, UNICEF continues to ensure that children and young people, in particular those who live in poverty and exclusion, enjoy and exercise their rights. UNICEF's assistance to Ukraine includes combating HIV/AIDS, reforming the state system of child care, eliminating iodine deficiency disorders, giving newborns a better start in life and establishing a juvenile justice system.

In addition UNICEF engages well-known personalities who volunteer their time and talent to promote children's rights and the UNICEF mission - to build a world fit for children.


 In 2006, UNICEF marks its 60th year as the world's leader for children, helping to build a world fit for children. UNICEF works in 191 countries and territories, supporting 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.

The United Nations established UNICEF in 1946 to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China and soon broadened its mandate to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. In 1965, UNICEF received the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely accepted human rights treaty in history.

UNICEF looks towards the future, guided by the Millennium Development Goals. Meeting these goals requires that all sectors of society 'Unite for Children,' which is the guiding philosophy of UNICEF's efforts to achieve global health and development goals for the world's children. This year also marks the first anniversary of Executive Director Ann M. Veneman's tenure at UNICEF, who since her arrival has travelled extensively to witness firsthand the situation of children across the globe.



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