United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), yesterday light Abuja City Gate blue to draw attention to the need for government to renew its commitment to the realisation of children’s rights in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, UNICEF’s Chief of Communication in Nigeria, Eliana Drakopoulos, said “We are lighting up the Abuja City Gate blue as a symbol of our commitment to children in this country. Every nation including Nigeria has improvements they can make on the realisation of the rights of children.”
She stressed the need for children’s rights to take centre stage in the country’s efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall said “It’s important that we look at these rights when we are seeking to achieve SDGs. We have till 2030 to achieve these goals but we need to step up progress on the realisation of the rights of children to access quality education, healthcare and play.
“We want to build a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential and nowhere is this more true than in Nigeria.”
Also, UNICEF’s Communication Specialist, Geoffrey Njoku, noted that iconic buildings around the world such as the New York Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal in India and the Sydney Opera would also be lit blue for a similar purpose.
He called on members of the public to sign an online petition on Children’s Rights published on UNICEF website which will be presented to Heads of State at next year’s UN General Assembly to extract a fresh commitment from them towards realising these rights in their respective countries.
In his remarks, minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, urged parents to avail their kids the opportunity to be part of the Children’s Parliament in Abuja and to use the platform for aggregating their voices towards the realisation and protection of their rights.