The Voices of Future Generations initiative, under the delegation of UNESCO, ran events in México during December 2016. From 09-10 December, Voices of Future Generations Child Authors and UN Child Ambassadors of the Sustainable Development Goals were invited to participate in a number of ways at the COP13 Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancun. On 09 December, the children were asked to attend a side event hosted by the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), where Jona David, one of the Child Authors shared his stories with an international network of youth individuals and organisations from all over the world, whose common goal is to prevent the loss of biodiversity. Youth representatives were very impressed, and it was wonderful to see the Voices initiative gather lots of interest.
On 10 December the Child Authors launched their short film worldwide at the COP13 Convention. The children spoke confidently about how their work for the project relates to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal agenda, and how they wish to engage other children to join them in working towards the future they wish to see. The film was met with rapturous applause, many thanks, and even a few tears, which is an indication of just how impactful it is. Our thanks go to the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law for hosting the children at the Biodiversity Law and Governance Day. Thanks, too, to Gabrielle Bacon of the Moore Foundation for all of her support in making the film a reality.
On 12 December, the Child Authors, as well as 75 children from schools in México City were invited to the Papalote Museo del Niño (the prestigious children’s museum in México City) for a day of learning about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. All children interacted brilliantly, offering their thoughts about how they can use their rights under this convention to make the world a better place for every child. They interacted with exhibits in the museum, relating them to various articles in the UN CRC, and thinking insightfully about the issues. The host committee, Marcela Orvañanos (Goodwill Ambassador for Latin America), Octavio Lievano and Hazel Gomez, along with the host Child Author from México, Allison Hazel Lievano-Gomez, and with the support of Christian Skoog, representative from UNICEF México, ensured a wonderful day. We are extremely grateful for all of their support.
On 13 December, the México host committee organised a day at the famous Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Anthropology Museum) of México. The Child Authors were invited to participate in special tours of Mayan and Aztec exhibits, with brilliant, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. Following the museum tour, a workshop was put on for the children, during which they engaged in traditional Mexican crafts. Many thanks to Alejandra Cervantes Mascareño, director of the museum, for hosting us. It was a truly enjoyable day.