Sir Roger Moore, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, attended the J8 Youth Forum in St. Petersburg on 8 July 2006. Pictures from the event can be viewed on the official Roger Moore website and on the CBn forums. The full report follows:
Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director, Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative in Russia, Lady Kristina and Roger Moore, the famous James Bond and UNICEF’s goodwill ambassador, went to St Petersburg on July 8, 2006.
This visit is testament to the significance of the J8 forum: for the first time in its history J8 Summit participants will be able to meet G8 leaders. At last year’s Junior 8 Summit in Scotland participants submitted a communique to the heads of the G8 countries but did not actually meet them.
Young people from G8 countries opened the “Junior 8” in Pushkin, near St. Petersburg. With an agenda that parallels the G8 itself, they will have the opportunity to share their views directly with the world’s leaders.
The Junior 8 has brought together more than 60 youths aged 13- 17, representing all G8 countries, to discuss what they think the G8 leaders should do about some of the most serious global issues.
Hosted by the Russian Federation Government, in partnership with UNICEF, the Junior 8 will focus on the key themes of this year’s G8 agenda: Education, Energy Security and HIV/AIDS. The children will also discuss violence and other issues they see as priorities. Their recommendations will be presented to the G8 leadership.
‘The decisions that are made this week by the leaders of the G8 will affect the future, and the future is where we will all live the rest of our lives,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, at the opening of the Junior 8.
‘In an increasingly global village, as we are drawn closer together both literally and figuratively, these young people represent not just the J8, but all countries around the world.’
‘It is important that the G8 leaders listen to the views of children, because the children will have to live with the decisions those leaders make,’ added UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore, attending the launch of Junior 8.
The participants include young people from each of the G8 member countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, UK and USA. The views of children from non-G8 countries, will be included via a series of videoconferences linking the Junior 8 to children from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The delegates attending the Junior 8 from all countries except Russia were selected through an essay competition organized by the Morgan Stanley International Foundation, with additional children selected by UNICEF. Russian participants won their places through a televised competition.
The young participants will discuss key G8 agenda items.
In UK, pupils from a Whitby school have taken part in an international ceremony to mark the start of the J8 Summit in St Petersburg, Russia. Eight Caedmon youngsters are representing the UK at the Junior G8 summit, which is running at the same time as world leaders gather for the G8 summit in the same city.
The school was chosen after pupils submitted a brief of questions they would like to put to world leaders.They flew out to Russia last week.
Headteacher Tony Hewitt said they had been overwhelmed by the way people had treated them.
‘We are being treated like royalty. The opening ceremony felt like we were at the Olympics,’ he said in a telephone call from St Petersburg.
One of the pupils, James Goodall, was selected to represent the United Kingdom on an international delegations panel – and he ended up presenting a Caedmon School badge to the actor, Sir Roger Moore.
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