The Director-General designates British writer Lauren Child as UNESCO Artist for peace

The Director-General designates British writer Lauren Child as UNESCO Artist for peace
  • © UNESCO/D. Bijeljac

On Friday 12 December 2008, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, designated Ms Lauren Child as UNESCO Artist For Peace in recognition for her efforts to empower childhood development through education and art, her support for UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

Also present at the designation ceremony were the President of UNESCO’s General Conference, Mr George Anastassopoulos, and the Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO, Mr Peter Landymore.

The Director-General paid tribute to Lauren Child’s commitment to children in need and her accomplishments as one of today’s most talented authors and illustrators in the field of children’s literature, both in her native UK and around the world, underscoring how “her books are initiating a new generation into the delights of reading and writing.”

Continuing, Mr Matsurra explained the results of the already fruitful collaboration between UNESCO and Lauren Child. “Convinced that rather than being the preserve of children in wealthy countries, story books should be used to reach out to under-privileged youngsters everywhere, Lauren Child decided to try make it a reality. With her publisher, Hachette Children’s Books, she teamed up with UNESCO to create a special, expanded edition of her much-loved story, That Pesky Rat. For a period of three years, all royalties and publisher profits from its sale will support projects under UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need.” This programme gives free rein to children’s artistic and cultural talents as a way into education.

The Director-General also acknowledged Lauren Child’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of innovative education for excluded children, through the ‘My Life is a Story’ campaign. “UNESCO needs talents like yours. Thanks to you, UNESCO has the unique chance to talk directly to children, in a language they understand, with a sense of imagination that matches their own,” he concluded.

For her part, Lauren Child thanked Mr Matsuura and expressed her satisfaction in becoming a UNESCO Artist for Peace. “The real honour for me is the opportunity to work with UNESCO.” […] “UNESCO’s programmes change children’s lives around the world.” […] “What makes UNESCO so unique is the optimism of its core belief – in other words the way it focuses on the positive aspects of this troubled world through its actions to improve education and preserve cultures and languages.”

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 181-2008
  • 16-12-2008
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