On 23 September, during her visit to New York on the occasion of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with an international group of Child Authors from the “Voices of Future Generations” Children Books Series.
The young authors, aged between 9 and 15 years, from different regions of the world, have written story books on the broader theme of sustainable development, including the environment, education, justice, and girls’ rights.
They shared with the Director-General the Children’s Declaration on the World’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted at the first-ever Children’s Summit that was held on 20 September 2015 in New York.
The Declaration, which incorporates input by 2700 children from 70 countries, states that “children must have their voices heard” and includes articles on equality, poverty, family, education, security, health, child labour, environmental protection, and living together.
The Director-General congratulated the young authors for their exemplary commitment and creativity, individually and as group that embodies diversity and richness around a shared vision.
"You are the future", said the Director-General, "leadership happens at all levels... you must continue your leadership for your families and communities into a future of sustainability and dignity for all. This is the vision embodied by the set of universal development goals which will be adopted at the General Assembly this week."
The Director-General also commended the children for participating in the Children’s Summit as true global citizens.
The Child Authors presented the Director-General with the “Inspiration to Future Generations Award” in recognition of her role as an “inspiring global mentor to secure the future education, science and culture that is crucial for their generation and everyone’s future.”
This Award was also given to Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland.
“It is a great honor to receive your Award - it means a lot to me. I accept this distinction on behalf of UNESCO as recognition of the Organization’s role in the world... and you must promise to continue your important work" said the Director-General.