Irina Bokova participates in Charity Gala for Children in Need
Upon the invitation of Mrs Ute-Henriette Ohoven, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Education of Children in Need, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the Annual Charity Gala for Children in Need, which took place in Dusseldorf on Saturday, 30 October 2010.
The Gala is a major international charity event that brings together outstanding personalities from the worlds of arts, business, and diplomacy, who are gathering to support the UNESCO Programme for the Education of Children in Need. The funds raised during this Gala enable UNESCO to implement education projects in numerous developing countries such as Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Senegal and many others.
In her address at the opening of the Charity Gala, the Director-General highlighted the rights of all children, such as the right to survival, protection and education. “This is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most universally ratified legal instrument,” she said. “Over eight million children die each year before the age of five – that is 22,000 every day. Close to 70 million children are out of primary school. This is not by chance. It is because they live in extreme poverty, belong to an ethnic minority, live with a disability, or in a remote location where there is no provision for education [...]”, she emphasized.
Irina Bokova underscored that UNESCO has been making a strong plea for education to be recognized as the key to reducing poverty, improving child and maternal health, fighting HIV and AIDS, and empowering girls and women.
In closing, the Director-General underlined that “the Education of Children in Need Programme works to provide learning opportunities and a better future for some of the most dispossessed children around the world. Since 1992, alliances with over 379 ground-breaking projects in 97 countries have brightened the lives of street children, child soldiers, young refugees and children displaced by conflict and natural disasters.”