UNMIL Acting SRSG Mr. Moustapha Soumaré Says Children’s Voices Should be Heard
Monrovia -March 4, 2012- UNMIL Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré has encouraged Liberian children to keep having their voices heard, "The International Children's Day of Broadcasting is a day when people around the world "tune in to kids" to hear what they have to say and on this 'Day', in Liberia, we gathered here to listen to you", Mr. Soumaré said.
The UNMIL Acting SRSG made these remarks on Sunday 4 March when he spoke with children participating in this year's International Children Day of Broadcasting-ICDB 2012 at UNMIL Radio in Monrovia. The day was held under the theme "Our Voices Must Be Heard" and brought together more than fifty children from schools and communities around the county.
In an extemporaneous delivery, which focused on the importance of children in the building of a nation, Mr. Soumaré noted "Children, some of you are young adults, you make up a large part of the population around the globe; you are the future of this nation, your "voices" are the "voices" of the future; you "must be heard", closing with "We "tuned in to kids" today and we are listening!"
The Acting SRSG urged the child broadcasters to continue to be bold, as they were that day and to continue to seek new challenges urging them not to be frightened to speak their mind and share their dreams 'I was extremely impressed to hear the inspiring, daring and challenging exchanges on the panel discussions and moved beyond words by the poems the children have shared with us today, please do not stop sharing as we adults are listening."
In a message to child broadcasters on the day, UNICEF Country Representative in Liberia Ms. Isabel Crowley stressed the need for them to offer children a voice in their own affairs. She spoke of ICDB as a great occasion to empower children by giving them opportunity to speak their minds and have adults listen to what they have to say, in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals and declarations.
Also in attendance on the day was the Liberian Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lewis Brown, the President of the Press Union of Liberia, Mr. Peter Quaqua and the Speaker of the Children's Parliament Emmanuel Bropleh.
As part of the traditional activities on this day UNMIL Radio gave the children the opportunity to organize radio programs and activities conducted by, for and about them. They were in charge of the air waves of UNMIL Radio, for 10 hours starting from 6:00am, with the climax at 4pm.
In a range of activities on the day, the children, broadcast programmes in various formats focusing on the theme of the day, acting as presenters, producers, reporters, and duty-continuity announcers. The programme included special interview of the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf carried by 4 of the children broadcasters as well as a Live outside broadcast from Old Road in Monserrado and numerous programmes sent in by children living in various counties in Liberia.