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Join Us in Support of the Seventieth Anniversary
of the United Nations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2015
CHILD AUTHORS TO BRING THEIR VISIONS TO 7Oth UN GENERAL
ASSEMBLY IN SUPPORT OF NEW GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
Children to launch latest books and Children’s Declaration on the new UN
Sustainability Goals at UN Bookshop, 21 September
An inspirational group of child authors will be making their voices heard on sustainable
development – which includes environmental, social and economic issues – and children’s
rights during the UN General Assembly's 70th Anniversary in New York next week.
The young writers will launch their books, which promote the values and voices of their
generation, alongside a 2015 Children’s Declaration on the UN’s new World Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Bookstore at 11am on the 21 September.
The Children’s Declaration will be agreed at the first ever Children’s Summit at the UN
headquarters on 20 September, which the young authors are helping to host.
The child authors are all writers in the Voices of Future Generations International Children's
Book Series, which is supported by an international consortium of global educational
charities in partnership with the UN.
The Voices of Future Generations books are written by creative and committed children to
promote the values and voices of their generation. Their books help highlight the importance
of the UN’s sustainability targets and also look through the lens of the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child to offer earnest and inspiring insights - that education, science and
cultural awareness are crucial to children's visions of a more just and sustainable future.
The Children’s Summit aims to raise awareness of children’s visions on the rights of the child
and sustainability values, and to express the voices of children on pressing global problems
and new solutions.
The 2015 Children’s Declaration will draw on ideas and online inputs from children around
the world to highlight the importance of the UN’s new global sustainable development goals.
It will set out the things that children, as voices for future generations, see as important in
creating a sustainable and just world for all. Over 1400 children from more than 60 countries
have so far submitted their ideas.
Jona David, aged 10, the young author representing North America, says:
“It is important to be ourselves, and to stand up for each other and our environment. The
problem is that we have a really long way to go, all over the world...
“When it comes to the earth, our own survival, and the survival of all future generations, is at
stake. It’s urgent. Children’s voices can tell others about problems. But most importantly, we
can also become part of the solution.”
In her endorsement of Jona’s first book, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova says:
“Through education, we must build peace in young minds and nurture children’s creativity to
shape more sustainable, just and peaceful societies. This is a message UNESCO is
promoting globally throughout the year-long celebration of its 70th anniversary.”
There will be photo and interview opportunities at the UN Bookstore directly after the book
and Children’s Declaration launch.
The child authors will also present their 2015 Children's Declaration to international mentors
and leaders in New York and give 'Future Generations Inspiration' awards to three worldclass international leaders who have proved themselves as inspiring global mentors in
raising awareness for the future of young people as well as all generations.
The Child Authors and their stories include:
•
Jona David (10), Europe/North America: Child Author from the UK,
Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Jona will share his first and second books
titled 'The Epic Eco-Inventions' and 'The Great Green Vine Invention', two
creative, colourful and whimsical tales about a child inventor and his
little brother who stand up to bullies and social pressures at school, while
promoting education on eco-science, renewable energy, and biodiversity.
•
Kehkashan Basu (15), Middle East: Child Author from the United Arab
Emirates will share her first book titled 'The Tree of Hope', a moving and
lyrical story about children working together with their communities to
green the desert, bringing back access to water and biodiversity, also
promote rural development and gender equality.
•
Diwa Boateng (10), Africa: Child Author from South Africa, Ghana,
Zambia and Zimbabwe will present his first book titled 'The Backwards and
Forwards City', a brilliant and courageous storybook of children's
friendship in the face of inequality and corruption, securing better access
to water and education, even as families come together to help against a
terrible epidemic sweeping their land.
•
Anna Yu-Yin Kuo (11), Asia: From Taiwan, Anna’s first book titled
'The Fireflies After the Typhoon', is a joyful and meaningful storybook
about respect for one's elders, whilst also gaining the courage to become part
of community decision-making, and children's resilience after natural
disasters, also biodiversity restoration and rural development.
•
Lautaro Real (9), Latin America: From Uruguay, Lautaro’s first book
titled 'The Species-Saving Time Team', is a charming and visionary storybook
about the value of team-work and cooperation, and children's magical
awareness and relationships with nature, also the importance of biodiversity
in wetlands, oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.
•
Allison Lievano-Gomez (8), Latin America: This child author from
Mexico City shares her first book titled 'The Sisters' Mind Connection', a moving
and heartfelt storybook about respect and support between differently abled
children and their families, demonstrating how children can collaborate to
secure access to education and health for all.
•
Lupeo'aunu'u Vaai (11), Pacific Islands: Lupeo'aunu'u from Samoa
presents her story 'The Voice of an Island', a lyrical and charming account
of children working together with their parents to care for the environment
in everyday lives, adopting renewable energy, becoming active as a voice of
change and responding to climate change.
•
Tyra Sioni (9), Pacific Islands: This Child Author from Papua New
Guinea shares her first book titled 'The Visible Girls', a meaningful and
open-minded description of how a girl with an invisible friend learns to
stand up for women's equality and voices, organizing themselves to secure
access to education, health and livelihoods for all.
For further information on the Voices of Future Generations, the Children’s Summit and how
to contribute ideas to the Summit as a Voice of Future Generations, see:
www.voicesoffuturegenerations.org
Contacts
To arrange interview at the UN Bookshop event or broadcast interviews, please contact:
Dr Markus Gehring: Tel: +1 (718) 618 4545 (US) or: +44 7789850287
Email: [email protected]
Ayman Cherkaoui: [email protected]
For copies of the embargoed Declaration, biographies/photosof the Child Authors and
images from the books, please contact:
Ayman Cherkaoui: [email protected]
Susan Pearson, Wordways Media and Communications: [email protected]
Notes for Editors
1] Preface to ‘The Forward and Backward City’ by Diwa Boateng (10) from Nikhil Seth,
Director of the United Nations Division on Sustainable Development:
“In the same year that world leaders adopt the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals,
this book is proof that the brave and bright ideas of boys and girls can improve the lives of
their communities and deliver a better, more sustainable future to their children’s children.
“Child Author Diwa Boateng has shown that, backed by a sense of adventure and sheer
bravery, children can expose the scandals that lead to the deprivation of basic rights that are
crucial to equitable sustainable development. He shows how the inherent power of friendship
can shatter the barriers caused by corruption and inequality and transform children into
leaders of society that help the world achieve a more sustainable future.
“The Voices of Future Generation’s Children’s Book Series, which educates children about
their fundamental rights and the role they can play in sustainable development, not only
makes an important contribution to the worlds collective goal of attaining sustainable
development but it helps shape children’s ideas about the future they want. It is a personal
pleasure to commend this marvellous children’s book to you, our upcoming generation of
readers, writers and leaders.”
2] The Voices of Future Generations Children's Book Series is co-led, in
partnership with the the United Nations through its Division on Sustainable
Development, by a consortium of international educational charities and
national institutions working to protect the interests of future
generations, promote the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child, and foster sustainable development. These world-leading
institutions and charities include:
Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) (cisdl.org)
The World Future Council (worldfuturecouncil.org)
Trust for Sustainable Living (www.livingrainforest.org)
Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights - Ombudsman for Future
Generations, Hungary (ajbh.hu/en/web/ajbh-en/)
Environmental Quality Protection Foundation (EQPF), Taiwan
(gcint.org/environmental-quality-protection-foundation/)
Fundación Ecos, Uruguay (fundacion-ecos.org)
3] Books now available are:
'The Epic Eco-Inventions' by Jona David (North America/Europe), illustrated by Carol Adlam
'The Great Green Vine Invention' by Jona David, illustrated by Carol Adlam
'The Tree of Hope' by Kehkashan Basu (Middle East), illustrated by Karen Webb-Meek
'The Fireflies After the Typhoon' by Anna Kuo (Asia), illustrated by Jen Hua Pin
'The Species-Saving Time Team' by Lautaro Real (Latin America), illustrated by
Veronica Villalla
'The Sisters' Mind Connection' by Allison Lievano-Gomez (Latin America), illustrated
by Oscar Pinto
4] Jona David’s first book, ‘The Epic Eco-Inventions has now been published in Spanish,
French and Chinese.
5] The new stories from Europe/NA, Africa, Asia, LAC and the Pacific are being illustrated
and published around the world in 2016, along with regional anthologies:
'The Forward and Backward City', by Diwa Boateng (Africa), illustrated by Zeena Thompson
'The Voice of an Island', by Lupe Vaai (Pacific Islands), illustrated by Karen Webb-Meek
'The Visible Girls' by Tyronah Sioni (Pacific Islands), illustrated by Charleen Morris
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