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But occasionally UNICEF comes under pressure by powerful member states, some autocratic regimes, and blocks of countries to impose or comply with conditionalities, selectivity and sanctions, that are not always based on concern for the well-being of children. With its universally cherished mandate, the noblest of all missions, a record of proud achievements, extensive field presence in developing countries and a network of citizen volunteers in industrialized countries, UNICEF appeals not just to the head but to the heart and even the soul of its supporters and the general public.

It must safeguard its magical lustre with a moral purpose. Carol Bellamy wisely and courageously resisted that proposal, and Kofi Annan agreed with her. In fact, I recall Kofi Annan came out with a very apt proposition. He said he wanted all UN agencies, especially at the field level, to work as a well-coordinated team.

Some of the unique characteristics of UNICEF that make it a much loved and respected organization and a strong member of the UN country team should be seen as an asset for the whole United Nations. UNICEF was originally established as an emergency fund, and gradually evolved into a development agency, but without giving up its humanitarian role. Most countries — donors as well as developing countries — appreciate the fact that UNICEF is often there before, during and after emergencies.

The fact that UNICEF provides many life-saving services that are equally essential during emergencies as well as part of normal development is another asset. From time to time, in the context of UN reform there have been proposals from seemingly wise people recommending that there should be 3 distinct pillars separating emergency from development and both of these from environment.

Based on our experience, such a separation would not only be problematic for UNICEF, it would be artificial and bad for children. We must insist on UNICEF not being fragmented, and allowed to work across the spectrum of the humanitarian-development continuum. Of course, we all hope that there will be fewer emergencies and we can concentrate more of our efforts on longer-term development.

But so long as UNICEF exists, its ability to help children in need, including in emergencies, must not be compromised. Faced with limited resources and unlimited needs, policy makers and managers are often confronted with having to decide among competing priorities. This happens in all organizations.

Saying Farewell When Changing Roles

When in doubt about the best course of action, we should opt for what is in the best interest of children. To determine the best interest of children maybe easier said than done, especially when it comes to the best interest of a single child versus children as a group. UNICEF should be mindful that public investment policies need to generally prioritize collective over individual interest.

But UNICEF would be performing well below its potential, and neglecting its mandate, if it did not use its considerable influence, convening power, and advocacy potential to help children everywhere, including in middle income countries, and judiciously even in the industrialized countries. While the national average of basic services coverage in most of these countries may seem respectable, there often are significant pockets of poverty and disparities and dysfunctional systems of basic social services.

And all countries can and need to do a better job in fully complying with the CRC by creating a more protective environment and improving the quality of services for children. Very modest amounts of catalytic investment — often in policy advocacy, legislation, and experience exchange — facilitated by UNICEF in these countries can produce disproportionately beneficial impact for large numbers of children in need.


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  • We must also remember that what happens in the rich, industrialized countries has a fairly direct demonstration effect in developing countries — for better or worse. I worry especially about children in rich countries — and children of the rich in poor countries — today who are growing up so mesmerized by the make-believe world of video games and gadgets that alienates them from the real world.

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    Paradoxically, the revolution in information and communication technology today can lead children to be more aloof and isolated rather than being engaged in human interaction and community spirit. If these children of the rich and affluent, who are likely to be the rulers of the world of tomorrow, grow up in the cocoon of virtual reality, will they have empathy for the poor and the down-trodden?

    Will they understand how the other half of the poor world lives? Nothing could be further from the truth. And here is why:. Children cannot survive, thrive and grow to their full human potential in a world where there is poverty, inequality, injustice, wars and conflicts, environmental degradation, and chronic violations of human rights. We need the full force of the United Nations — with its political clout, diplomatic skills, technical expertise, normative mandate, and moral authority to help create a framework of world order in which organizations like UNICEF can play their vital role.

    Detractors of the United Nations are quick to point out its many shortcomings, some of which we cannot deny or ignore. But in our imperfect world that is rapidly shrinking into a global village, there is no alternative to inter-dependence and solidarity. As the current discussion on climate change is highlighting, rich and poor, North and South we will all sink or swim together. In , rapper Master P with Mo B. In , Usher sang the song a capella in memory of R'n'B singer and actress Aaliyah , who had been killed in a plane crash three days before.

    In , Busch Stadium played the song while showing a memorial video of late pitcher Darryl Kile.

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    In , Jamelody covered the song on his debut album, "Be Prepared". In , R. Wilson was murdered in during an altercation with two teenagers at the age of 17 and Kelly was one of his AAU teammates. Kelly also sang the song as Wilson was being laid to rest the day of his funeral and recounted that for the film.

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    In , Angela Aki sang the song using both English and Japanese lyrics. In , singer-songwriter Jason Mraz covered the song on his fifth studio album Yes! Radio stations in the United States changing formats have on occasion used this song to sign off their old format prior to the debut of the new one, such as longtime urban station V in Baltimore in June From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

    Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Record Research. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 9, Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 9, Single Top Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 17, Recorded Music NZ.