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UNICEF working hard to fulfill every child's potential

World Children's Day on Monday

Published : 19 Nov 2017, 22:09

Updated : 19 Nov 2017, 22:14

  DF-Xinhua Report
Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), speaks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency in New York, the United States, Nov. 15, 2017. The World Children's Day, which falls on Nov. 20, will be another chance to unite the whole world to highlight the topic of children, Justin Forsyth said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. Photo Xinhua.

In a world where unrest and unbalanced development are still a challenge, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is trying hard to leave no child behind in fulfilling their potential, a senior official said here Thursday.

The World Children's Day, which falls on Nov. 20, will be another chance to unite the whole world to highlight the topic of children, Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"The World children's day is a day by children, for children," Forsyth said, adding that "we hope millions of children around the world will take action to save children's lives, to fight for their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential."

The UNICEF official said that the children's day would also be a day of fun, a day when the world community are urged to join children to celebrate.

To ensure children's well-being is part of the UN's sustainable development goals, UNICEF has a big focus on making sure children get a chance to go to school, being able to read and write properly. "We also have even more basic programs, which is to prevent children from dying of diarrhea, pneumonia, which is 'child survivor' as we call it," he said.

Children should have the right of nutrition, and they also have the right to play and learn, he said.

UNICEF is running all these programs in hundreds of countries around the world, including in China, working with the government and the people, he said.

But in some very tough places like Syria and Yemen where there are wars going on, UNICED's focus is really to save children's lives, Forsyth said.

Children have benefited greatly from the progress China has made, when the government has lifted hundreds of millions of people and families out of poverty, he said.

"We are working very closely with the Chinese government to make sure that all children in the country benefit equally, in terms of education and health, which is in line with the Chinese central government's aim to solve the principal contradiction between the unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life.

"So now we are working with the Chinese government to make sure we don't leave any children behind in that story of progress," the UNICEF official said.

As the World Children's Day is approaching, UNICEF is glad that enterprises like Tencent and Alibaba in China are involved in the global effort for children's wellbeing, he said.

Tencent and Alibaba are using their digital platforms to reach out and get more people involved in the work that UNICEF is doing for children. Both of those companies have worked with the UN agency to recruit more Chinese people to support the cause of children, he said.

In tens of thousands of schools in the world, children are taking actions themselves, and we can also take more actions to really make sure every child has a chance to fulfill their potential, Forsyth said.

UNICEF and Xinhua co-launched a global media campaign for children around the World Children's Day in 2009, and has since combined its efforts to advocate for children's wellbeing with the Chinese media organization.

"Our partnership with Xinhua is important in getting more people, children and adults alike, to engage themselves in the endeavor for the better future of children in China and beyond," the UNICEF official said.