H.E. DR. LAMUEL
AT THE TWENTY-SEVENTH UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON CHILDREN
New York , 9 May 2002
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I begin by quoting the indomitable freedom fighter, President Nelson Mandela, with respect to the centrality of children in the family, in the nation, and in the world: "We cannot waste our precious children, no not one, not another day. It is long past time for us to act on their part. I remind you of your own power and obligation to make the world a better place for children."
What simple yet powerful words calling for action!
The Convention, which came into force in 1990 is the most ratified human rights treaty in history. It affirms the right of children to a life free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The Secretary General's report (A/S-27/3) entitled We the Children provides the best estimate of what has been achieved and what remains undone. Based upon national-level reviews from around the world on the global child, the Secretary General concludes that the world has short-changed children by under-investment, especially their health, education and protection."
Too much abuse, exploitation, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, especially catastrophic and deadly HIV/AIDS still remain the fate of children, so antithetical to the spirit and intent of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
- Grenada's under-five mortality
rate in 2000, was 26 per 1000 live births, substantially lower than the
region's average of 378.
In the same vein the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, made himself available to a children's forum for the purpose of answering their questions and receiving their suggestions as to how they can best contribute to the advancement of their country.
Later he launched a youth employment and development project called Imani, which is an African word meaning faith in God, faith in yourself and faith in one another. The Imani Project is designed to provide 500 young people between the ages of 17 to 35 with the opportunity to acquire and develop skills, gain job experience, improve self-esteem, build confidence and develop a positive attitude about themselves and the world of work, while receiving a monthly stipend.
From the perspective of the nation and indeed the world, children are the trustees of posterity. Therefore, as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world. The future of children! The future of the world!
Finally, Mr. President,
Thank you Mr. President! Thank you Ms. Carol Bellamy! Thank you Ambassador Patricia Durant!