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YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD AS A UNICEF JUNIOR 8 LEADER

2009-03-12

TORONTO – March 13, 2009 – Canadian high school students, aged 14 to 17, are invited to discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting them and their global peers with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama and other world leaders attending the G8 Summit on July 8 - 10, 2009 in Italy. Youth from across the country are invited to join in the annual Junior 8 (J8) UNICEF competition for the opportunity to have their voices heard by some of the world’s most powerful leaders at the UNICEF J8 Summit, which is an official meeting of the G8 Summit of Leaders.

“For young people, faced with global challenges including AIDS, climate change and the very real impact of the global economic crisis on this generation’s future, the UNICEF J8 Summit is a unique platform to discuss the issues that will have a direct impact on their lives and their future,” said Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “The UNICEF J8 Summit gives today’s youth – which make up half the population in some countries - a voice on the global policy stage.”

Students participating in the UNICEF J8 Summit competition must enter a team of four youth - comprised of both boys and girls – and prepare their entry through creative research, group work, and school or community action on social justice issues related to the issues on the 2009 G8 agenda. Entries should be solution-oriented and propose clearly communicated, feasible ideas and must be submitted by April 17, 2009.

Judges will choose one winning team to represent Canada. The Canadian team will travel to Italy in July 2009 and meet with other teams from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the UK and the USA and representatives from non-G8 countries. Together with youth from developing countries, participants will produce a communiqué to the eight world leaders.

To learn more about the UNICEF J8 Summit and download a competition entry form visit www.unicef.ca/junior8summit.

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About the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit

The UNICEF J8 Summit is the youth event linked to the G8 Summit and jointly organized by UNICEF and the G8 presidency. The Summit aims to advance young people’s understanding of global issues and to provide a platform for them to discuss and advocate on these issues with some of the most powerful leaders in the world.

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. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca

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.