CRC 25th Anniversary at UNICEF
This year, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) celebrated its 25th year. The CRC is an international human rights treaty protecting children under the age of eighteen, and currently 194 countries are working to protect the social, political, economic, health and cultural rights of children. On Thursday 20th November, 2014, the UN hosted several high-level events to honor this anniversary which included a concert, panel discussion, a launch with keynote speakers and a cocktail reception for the Queen and Prime Minister of Sweden.
Having produced the 20th Anniversary of the CRC at the General Assembly 5 years ago, JME was thrilled to be part of the UNICEF team once again. With 5 events back-to-back in different locations it certainly was a full day, starting with the launch of the UNICEF #IMAGINE project with Hugh Jackman and Yoko Ono, and finishing with a cocktail reception for HM Queen Silvia.
CRC @ 25
CRC Reception Food
Hannah Godefa at the CRC
Once again, JME was delighted to work with the amazing Hannah Godefa, who moderated the launch of the State of the World’s Children Report and with the incredible Chernor Bah. The day ended with a high-level reception catered by renowned Swedish Chef Ulrika Bengtsson, and with remarks from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Yoka Brandt.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Imagine Concert on YouTube
The JME team has done it again! Another UN General Assembly week has come and gone and we have survived! We kicked-off the week with the UNICEF Rapid Innovation breakfast meeting on Monday followed by UNDP’s Forests Pavilion for the Climate Summit 2014 on Tuesday. On Wednesday the busy week continued with the ‘No Lost Generation’ high-level meeting, which addressed protecting the futures of children affected by the Syrian crises.
We wrapped up with the 'All In! Towards ending the AIDS epidemic among adolescents' event at the Delegates Dining Room with speeches from young people living with aids. Hearing the various speakers throughout the week was incredibly inspiring and the rooms were packed to capacity. Guests included heads of state, ministers from multiple world governments and high-level CEOs.
Working the GA meant being up and ready to go early in the morning, and the team was at the office before 7am all week. Georgie, our personal K9, was not a fan of the early mornings and remained fast asleep as we made last minute edits to Runs of Show. Security around the UN complex was even tighter this year due to current events, and more than 140 World Leaders attended various functions throughout the week. We were lucky enough to be at the UN when President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry passed by onto another meeting. Just another day in the life of a special events production team!
Georgie is glad to have us back in the office and we are happy to have time to take her for an afternoon “meeting” stroll. After a bit of rest, the team is ready for another exciting challenge. Stay tuned to see what comes next!
© Christine Nesbitt Hills
Innovation, innovation, innovation - the buzz word at a recent J Marshall event rang true for everyone. The “Innovative Approaches to Advocate for Child Rights,” an installment of the UNICEF Activate Talks series, was truly inspiring and aimed to encourage youth creativity. The event took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Panelists included Saba Ismail (Executive Director of Aware Girls), Erik Martin (University of Maryland student and game designer), Sofia Garcia-Garcia (facilitator of the “children working group” within the Major Group of Children and Youth), and Chernor Bah (former Sierra Leone refugee, youth advocate, and girl champion). They were each given five minutes to present their organizations and passions for the rights of the world’s youngest generations in an elevator style pitch. Moderator Femi Oke used her spunky personality to keep the session moving at an exhilarating pace. After the panelists had given their presentations, Femi facilitated a question and answer session from the live audience as well as from the online Twitter audience. The in-house and Twitter audiences helped spread the panelists’ messages around the world and further accentuated the talk’s focus on using innovation to find new ways to solve old problems.
During the Q&A portion of the event, panelists were asked where and how innovation develops. Sofia described innovation as a way to make things that don’t work, work. She stressed the importance of “unlearn[ing] the way we do things.” Erik proposed that innovation comes from “remixing” existing ideas and embracing failure as a learning tool. His last words to the audience were, “Fail a lot…failure is how you get somewhere.” Now that is advice everyone can appreciate! Keep following on twitter @UNICEF and @UNICEFTalk.
On December 3rd, UNICEF inducted pop sensation Katy Perry as their newest Goodwill Ambassador. This invitation-only press event took place at UNICEF House and was moderated by 17-year-old Hannah Godefa, Ethiopia National Goodwill Ambassador, who was accompanied by her proud dad.
The press included youth bloggers, KIDSDAY members, and local NYC students who got an exclusive peak at the #unconditionallyUNICEF video featuring Katy Perry’s trip to Madagascar. Executive Director, Tony Lake, tapped his foot along to the song and commented later, “I was trying very hard not to lip synch”. Below is the video with lyrics inspired by Perry’s work with UNICEF.
Perry commented that being in the public eye enabled her to reach a vast number of people and shine a light on issues that need to be addressed.
We at J Marshall Events admire how Katy Perry is using her fame to shine the spotlight on global issues such as providing maternal health care, incorporating children with disabilities into society, and securing access to clean water.
Photo © Plan-International
The J Marshall Events team and the rest of Manhattan were excited to see the Empire State Building turn pink on October 11th in honor of International Day of the Girl Child. Not only did the United States go pink but countries around the world, including Australia, Spain and Guatemala, lit their national monuments in celebration of this special day. Plan International, and UNICEF held several events in New York to spotlight the global issue of protecting a girl’s right to education.
As you can see Julie-Ann and the UNICEF team also put their girl power into action as they focused the lights at UNICEF House. The event featured a ‘Girl Roar’ video clip with Katy Perry, several inspiring speeches, and special guest Freida Pinto, actress and Global Ambassador for Plan International. After the program Tulsi Thapa, Global Youth Ambassador, and Freida invited guests to gather around a Fresco and erase the image of girls in a sweatshop to reveal girls sitting in a classroom.
While some progress has been made, the International Day of the Girl Child recognizes that children in many countries are still unable to attend school or complete their education due to safety, cultural, financial or institutional obstacles. UNICEF and Plan International are exploring how technology can increase access to education for out-of-school girls and improve the quality of learning for every child. The girls of J Marshall Events were happy to be part of their efforts!
On September 25, the J Marshall Events team and I were thrilled to be part of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) at UNICEF House.
This was the first global interfaith initiative to promote safe water and limit the amount of people without access to sustainable drinking water. The panelists, representatives from various faith-based organizations from around the globe, were enthusiastic, hopeful and moving in their statements.
A highlight of the event was the foot tapping and smile inducing live rap performance by 13 year-old environmental activist and youth director of Earth Guardians, Xihutezcatl Martinez, and his 10 year-old brother.
The program culminated with a water ceremony performed by all the advocates. Each panel participant brought water from their home country to be symbolically mixed in a large vessel, confirming the commitment to work together to ensure safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene.
The task of providing and securing clean drinking water and sanitation on a global scale is an ongoing struggle with more than 768 million people lacking access to safe water. You can find more information on WASH at www.unicef.org/wash.
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Photos © Stephanie Berger