In Turkey today, Nane Annan, the wife of the United Nations Secretary-General, participated in the regional launch of an unprecedented global campaign on behalf of children, urging the world community to "say yes" to a 10-point appeal for children's rights.
"When a baby is born, you can see the universe reflected in his or her clear eyes," Ms. Annan said at a ceremony in Istanbul launching the "Say Yes for Children" campaign for central and eastern Europe and in the Baltic countries. "For some, each breath will be an affirmation of the right to grow up free and strong. For others, each breath will confirm their loss of possibilities. We are meeting today to give every child the right to dream, to grow up without fear and with a sense of dignity."
Led by international organizations and personalities including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Bill Gates, the "Say Yes for Children" campaign enables young people, adults, leaders, celebrities and people of influence to sign a pledge, distributed both on paper and via the Internet, to express support for 10 actions essential to improving the lives of children everywhere.
The campaign's10 appeals are: put children first; leave no child out; care for every child; educate every child; stop harming and exploiting children; protect children from war; combat HIV/AIDS; fight poverty; listen to children; and protect the Earth for children.
The pledges will be presented to national leaders at the UN General Assembly's special session on children in September, when government representatives will gather to review the progress made in child rights since the 1990 World Summit for Children. The session will set the agenda for the next decade.