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Kiwis to be among first to hear new UNICEF Anthem

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)

Media Release


Kiwis to be among first in world to hear new UNICEF Anthem

Wellington, 12 November 2009. – A New Zealand orchestra will be one of the first in the world to perform a new anthem dedicated to the world’s children.

The Auckland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gary Daverne, ONZM will play the UNICEF Anthem “Lullaby” twice – on 15 and 22 November – as part of world-wide celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Anthem will also be performed in 15 other countries and territories, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and in Europe, Scandanavia, the Middle East and Asia.  

The UN adopted the Convention on 20 November 1989, with NZ ratifying it on 13 March 1993. The Convention is the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for all children.

UNICEF NZ Executive Director, Dennis McKinlay, says that as one of the most universal languages, music can work to inspire and educate people all over the world.

“The Anthem is a way to not only celebrate the Convention, but also to engage individuals to support the needs and undeniable rights of the world’s children.

“We would like to thank the Auckland Symphony Orchestra for taking such an active role in this world-wide celebration.”

Mr McKinlay says that since its adoption by the UN, the Convention has achieved near universal acceptance.

“UNICEF is mandated to uphold the Convention in every country around the world. We do this by helping children in emergencies, such as the recent Pacific tsunami, as well as in improving children’s lives through health, education, and child protection initiatives.” 

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The four-minute Anthem was composed by UNICEF Canada Ambassador Steve Barakatt, who spent almost a year on the piece. Mr Barakatt says that he hopes the Anthem will help focus attention on the Convention as it reaches an important milestone.

“It will also remind us of the journey still ahead, to ensure that the rights and well-being of every child, without exception, are realised.”

The Auckland Symphony Orchestra will perform the UNICEF Anthem on Sunday 15 November at the Auckland Town Hall and Sunday 22 November at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna.

© Scoop Media

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