Friday, July 18, 2008

UN Unites Kids and World Leaders

In an initiative lead by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), nine kids drafted their proposals for global development and presented them to the leaders of the world's most industrialized nations at the 2008 G8 high-level summit in Toyako, Japan. They served as representatives for the 2008 'Junior 8' Summit held in Chitose City in Hokkaido, Japan. After months of preparatory work, the 39 participants issued the Chitose Declaration, a statement consisting of recommendations for how G-8 leaders can address the issues of climate change, development and poverty, and global health. Among its suggestions is the establishment of international "Green Indexes" to encourage consumers from all nations to buy green. Additionally, the Chitose Declaration advocated the end of politically-based aide and the support of universal educational programs centered on disease prevention, nutrition, sanitation and sexual education. It also insists that governments should not be able to restrict the availability of health education and contraceptives. With the help of UNICEF, young people's ideas are being turned into action and a new generation of proactive, professional leaders is being forged.