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UNICEF Anthem marks 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

2009-11-16

Toronto, November 18, 2009 – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child, UNICEF Canada is very pleased to release “Lullaby, The UNICEF Anthem" dedicated to the world’s children.

Adopted by the United Nations on November 20, 1989, the Convention on Rights of the Child is the farthest-reaching legally binding international instrument designed to advocate for and protect the rights of every child, everywhere in the world.

On November 20, the anthem music video will be released to over 26,000 media outlets and will be played at the United Nations headquarters in New York City during a special commemoration of the Convention for the international community. The Anthem campaign represents one of the largest global musical events ever.

Not only will “Lullaby, The Unicef Anthem” be performed and broadcast to the four corners of the world, it will also be heard in space at the International Space Station.  There, thanks to the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. ESA astronaut and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Frank De Winne will watch the video at the invitation of UNICEF Belgium in an event video recorded by the ESA.
 
The original recording of the anthem features many world renowned musicians, singers and ensembles including the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Myung-Whun Chung, Leon Lai, Agnes Chan, Nana Mouskouri, Angelique Kidjo, Helmut Lotti, Richard Yongjae O’Neill, Miri Ben-Ari, Maxim Vengerov, Maitrise de Radio France under the baton of Sofi Jeannin, the City of Prague Philharmonic Choir under the baton of Mirian Nemcova and Steve Barakatt.

The anthem was orchestrated by world renowned orchestrator Nic Raine. 
 
In keeping with the global significance of the anniversary, anthem composer, producer and UNICEF Anthem Ambassador Steve Barakatt will attend celebratory events and perform the anthem around the world.

In the morning of November 20, Mr. Barakatt will be in Seoul, South Korea to perform the anthem and attend a press event in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A few hours later, Mr. Barakatt will travel to Paris, France to perform “Lullaby” with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maestro Myung-Whun Chung to be broadcast throughout Europe.

On that same day, the Chinese version of the anthem will be officially released in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra with the Hong Kong Children’s Choir. The Chinese version featuring traditional musical instruments has been re-arranged by Mr Yan Huichang. 

The 20th anniversary commemorations and the anthem will continue beyond November 20th. Mr. Barakatt will perform ‘Lullaby” on November 21 at the Ramallah Cultural Palace in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with the Edward Said National Youth Conservatory.

On and around November 20, the anthem will be performed live by orchestras and ensembles in at least 17 countries. Among these performances, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lukasz Borowicz will perform the anthem to be broadcast nationally. In Spain, the anthem will be played during the official celebration of the 20th anniversary with Her Majesty the Queen of Spain. In Japan, the anthem video will be presented in an official event in the presence of the First Lady of Japan.

Quotes
 “Music is an international language. The 20th Anniversary on the Rights of the Child is an important moment in time,” said world renowned composer and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Steve Barakatt. “When people around the globe hear this anthem I want them to pause a moment and reflect on the lives of children around the world and the commitment the world made to them twenty years ago.”

“This anthem will stand as a lasting tribute to the vision of the world fit for children that is embodied in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is my hope that when people hear this anthem, they will be inspired to continue the work that is so vital to ensuring the rights and well-being of all children around the globe,” said Nigel Fisher, UNICEF Canada President and CEO.

About the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child represents one of the most significant milestones in an historic effort to achieve a world fit for children. It codifies into a binding treaty of international law principles which Member States of the United Nations agreed to be universal, for all children, in all countries and cultures, at all times and without exception, simply through the fact of their being born into the human family. Since its adoption by the United Nations, this treaty has been ratified by almost every country in the world. It has inspired changes in laws to better protect children, altered the way that international organisations see their work for children, and supported an agenda to better protect children in situations of armed conflict.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Performance details:

Canada:
Partnership with Orchestras Canada
Performance by Quebec Symphony Orchestra
Performance by Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra
Performance by Delta Youth Orchestra
Performance by Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra
Performance by Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal
Performance by Ottawa Youth Orchestra
Performance by Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra

Australia:
Performance by Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

Finland:
Performance by Lahti Sinfonia

France:
Performance by Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and La Maitrise de Radio France

Hong Kong:
Performance by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Japan:
Performance by Junior Japanese Orchestra

Occupied Palestinian Territory:
Performance by Edward Said National Youth Conservatory

Poland:
Performance by Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra

New Zealand:
Performance by Auckland Symphony Orchestra

Spain:
Broadcast by Radio Nacional de Espana

South Korea:
Performance by Korean POPS Orchestra

Turkey:
Performance by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gurer Aykal

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.