The U.S. Fund for UNICEF mourns the passing of the Honorable Donald M. Payne, the U.S. Representative of the 10th District of New Jersey.
Congressman Payne had an impressive career, marked by his advocacy for human rights here and around the world, for the fulfillment of human needs, and for prosperity and justice for all. He provided outstanding service to his constituents, to his country, and to the world.
UNICEF supporters especially salute him for his global work to save and to improve the lives of vulnerable children. He used his position of leadership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to fight for the needs of those caught in emergencies, from Haiti to Darfur to the Horn of Africa. He was a key leader in the efforts to defeat malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and other ongoing challenges to global health.
In the midst of the controversy and sparring on Capitol Hill as Congress hurried to finish its work for the year, the House and Senate provided holiday cheer for UNICEF and for vulnerable children around the world.
Included in the massive appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012 signed into law by the President was $131.8 million for the U.S. Government’s contribution to UNICEF. Although the overall measure cut core foreign assistance programs by about $6 billion from the Fiscal Year 2011 levels, UNICEF was preserved.
Saturday, December 3, marked the 19th annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Sponsored by the United Nations, people from around the world recognize this day in an effort to further an understanding of people with disability, and encourage support for their dignity, rights, and overall well-being. This year’s theme was, “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.”
According to the World Health Organization, around ten percent of the world’s children have some type of physical or mental health impairment, and around eighty percent of those children live in developing countries. Unfortunately, children with disabilities are among the most marginalized and excluded groups of children. Compared to their peers, they are routinely denied access to health, education and social services. They are often excluded from opportunities to participate in their communities, and are more vulnerable to violence and abuse.
If you’re a regular visitor to FieldNotes you may have noticed a new look and feel! We got a lot of feedback from our readers and made some changes. We hope the new set up will help you find the information you’re looking for, and allow you to share UNICEF’s message easily and effectively.
UNICEF and the Special Olympics share a common belief that kids with disabilities, deserve the same rights and the same chances as anybody else. Unfortunately, children with disabilities are frequent targets of discrimination and neglect, denied essential services such as health care and education, and extremely vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation. Both Special Olympics and UNICEF are committed to tackling the discrimination that keeps children with disabilities on the margins of society, and promoting their rights as equal and active members of their communities. One of the key priorities of the partnership is to push for the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Adopted in 2006, the treaty is the first legally binding instrument with comprehensive protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
It is clear that painful cuts are coming in a variety of Federal programs. In the face of this crisis, a diverse coalition of over 40 leaders of international and domestic non-governmental organizations, including President and CEO Caryl M. Stern of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, is calling upon the Administration and Congressional Leadership to protect international and domestic programs that benefit poor and vulnerable families and children from deep budget cuts.