Presentation by Nelson Mandela of pledges from the "Say Yes for Children" Campaign to the United Nations General Assembly 27th Special Session on Children, New York - United States

9 May 2002

Dear Friends.

It is a great honour to be here with you this evening, and to be joined by President Kim Dae-Jung from Korea.

I am here to hand over the votes – 83 million of them – from the Say Yes for Children campaign to President Dae-Jung, as President of the presiding country of the 27th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Let us take a moment to consider the results of this campaign.

Millions of people from every part of the globe have spoken and called upon the world to respect and honour the rights of each and every child.

Each vote calls for each and every one of us – as leaders, as parents, as citizens – to do what we can to make a world fit and secure for every child.

We must respond to that call.

There are many leaders in this audience tonight: children and adults, individuals and institutions. We have the ability, experience and political mandate to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow up healthily, to learn and to contribute to their families, communities and nations.

In many ways the campaign is just beginning. To ‘Say Yes’ is only the first step. Now we must act. Now we must turn the pledges into reality for all the world’s children.

It is my great pleasure to entrust these pledges to the leaders of the international community, by handing them to Dr. Han Seung-Soo, the President of the General Assembly.

Thank you.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation