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Tribute to Unicef

UNICEF—the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund—was created by the United Nations after World War II in December 1946. World War II left many of Europe’s children to face famine and disease. UNICEF’s main purpose in 1946 was, therefore, to provide these traumatized children with food, clothing and healthcare. Since then UNICEF’s role in the world has expanded dramatically.

In 1953, the United Nations General Assembly made UNICEF a permanent part of the UN. In 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which largely defines UNICEF’s global mission. In 1961, UNICEF expanded its interests to address the needs of the whole child. In 1965, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1979, UNICEF reaffirmed its commitment to children’s rights during the International Year of the Child. In 1982, UNICEF launched a Child Survival and Development Revolution. In 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is central to UNICEF’s mission. In 1990, the World Summit for Children further specified UNICEF’s goals. In 2002, the UN General Assembly convened a Special Session on Children, which made UNICEF’s global mission even clearer.

Today UNICEF does everything possible to promote the global well-being of children. UNICEF believes that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF tries to immunize all children against common childhood diseases and attempts to halt the spread of AIDS. UNICEF works in 190 UN member states through national programs and national committees to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF advocates measures to give children the best start in life.

UNICEF believes that it can eliminate unnecessary childhood mortality and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) by 2015. Every day 22,000 children die around the world from preventable diseases largely due to unsafe drinking water and malnutrition. UNICEF believes it can eliminate this terrible tragedy and it needs everyone’s help to achieve this noble goal and its overall mission.

David Slive, Buffalo

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