MORE AT www.unicef.org.uk/c8
UNICEF has provided a platform so children can express their views on the issues being debated and decisions made at the G8. In order for the forum to represent a genuine expression of the children?s views and experiences, UNICEF has not sought to influence their debate so the views expressed in the following text are those of the C8 participants and do not necessarily represent those of the organisers.
CHILDREN FOR CHANGE
Response from C8 children and young people to the G8 announcement
We, the children of the C8 representing the world?s children, welcome the G8 focus on the issues of poverty, HIV/AIDS and Africa. However, we are disappointed that the leaders have not taken full advantage of the momentum of 2005 to make child poverty history once and for all.
In making our C8 recommendations (see attached), we placed our faith in the leaders, recognising that they too were once children. We hoped that their commitment as members of the human race would have influenced their decisions; that they would acknowledge the problems facing children and would feel driven to solve and act on them.
Today is a pivotal moment in history that will never come again. The world has woken up to the reality of poverty and millions are wearing white bands to make poverty history. We are united in this goal and we had hoped the leaders would be too.
We need more than promises we need actions. We call on the leaders to remove self -interest and work in partnership with young people. G8 leaders should also work with civil society and international organisations to eliminate corruption and effectively implement their decisions for the benefit of all children.
We know that poverty is manmade and therefore man can undo it. We the children are calling for change.
We, as young people affected by the decisions made and issues discussed at G8, have the right to be heard. The C8 has given the leaders an opportunity to hear the voices of young people that may be future G8 leaders one day. We feel that the lack of response to our recommendations will have drastic consequences - children and young people will not trust or forgive G8 leaders.
We, the children, don?t want to live in a world of hate. Terrorism, like poverty, is manmade and can be eliminated. We believe that peace is a powerful instrument that can be used by everyone to fight the world?s problems.
Background on the C8 Children?s Forum:
The C8 is a children?s summit that took place just before the G8 meeting of leaders to give children and young people the opportunity to have their voices heard and draw up recommendations about the issues they think the G8 leaders should address.
The young participants are all aged between eleven and eighteen years of age and come from some of the world?s poorest countries ? Bhutan, Cambodia, Moldova, Yemen, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Bolivia. They have been joined by young people from G8 countries Russia, France, Italy, Germany and the UK.
For further information on C8, please contact:
Sarah Epstein, UK media, 0776 6052658
Gina Dafalia, international media, 07958 058106
For further information or interviews with David Bull in Gleneagles, please contact:
David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, 07776 185333
Kathryn Irwin, UNICEF UK Media, 0780 372 9890
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