UN / UNICEF NAKATE

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15-Sep-2022 00:02:27
25-year-old Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate has been appointed as the newest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, affirming her collaboration with the organisation and recognising her outstanding global advocacy for climate justice for current and future generations. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / UNICEF NAKATE
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DATELINE: 15 SEPTEMBER 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

15 SEPTEMBER 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Various shots, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Vanessa Nakate, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“I took this appointment, not as a testament to something I have done, but as something that we have done as a movement of young people. Yet this appointment opens doors to halls of power. But more importantly, it expands the opportunities I have to travel to meet children and families most affected by the climate crisis and to amplify their stories on stages like this one.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Vanessa Nakate, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“The ongoing emergency in the Horn of Africa is depriving children of a meal, of safe water, of access to life saving health services. It is keeping them from classrooms and forcing their families to move.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Vanessa Nakate, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“Governments and industry must listen to the science and follow the data, which is getting harder to ignore every day. We must reduce emissions, redefined development, generate real solutions for survival and think innovatively about how we finance them. We must do this at speed and scale for children everywhere.”

8. Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Vanessa Nakate, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“We are the ones with the lived experience, and the children, and the young people are the ones who will suffer the worst impacts of climate change in the future. My journey mirrors that of millions of young people all over the world demanding climate action. The world does not want to hear about the damage. Our inaction is doing to the most vulnerable. But in this new role, I commit to representing children in everywhere, but especially those from the most affected areas. I was standing for them where they don't have a seat yet and also on the tables. And I will tell their stories to those who have the power to bring real change.”

STORYLINE:

25-year-old Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate has been appointed as the newest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, affirming her collaboration with the organisation and recognising her outstanding global advocacy for climate justice for current and future generations.


Nakate travelled last week with UNICEF to Turkana Country in north-western Kenya to see firsthand the impacts of water and food insecurity caused by the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 40 years. In her first trip with UNICEF, she met with communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, including mothers and babies receiving lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition and families benefiting from solar-powered water supply systems.


Speaking to reporters in New York today (15 Sep), Nakate said, “I took this appointment, not as a testament to something I have done, but as something that we have done as a movement of young people. Yet this appointment opens doors to halls of power. But more importantly, it expands the opportunities I have to travel to meet children and families most affected by the climate crisis and to amplify their stories on stages like this one.”

Speaking about her trip, she said, “the ongoing emergency in the Horn of Africa is depriving children of a meal, of safe water, of access to life saving health services. It is keeping them from classrooms and forcing their families to move.”

The new UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador urged governments and industry to listen to the science and follow the data, “we must reduce emissions, redefined development, generate real solutions for survival and think innovatively about how we finance them. We must do this at speed and scale for children everywhere.”

“We are the ones with the lived experience, and the children, and the young people are the ones who will suffer the worst impacts of climate change in the future,” Nakate said.

She reiterated that her journey “mirrors that of millions of young people all over the world demanding climate action,” adding that “the world does not want to hear about the damage. Our inaction is doing to the most vulnerable.”

In her new role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, the Ugandan climate activist is committed to “representing children in everywhere, but especially those from the most affected areas. I was standing for them where they don't have a seat yet and also on the tables. And I will tell their stories to those who have the power to bring real change.”

Nakate began her activism in January 2019 with a protest with her siblings and cousins on the streets of Kampala, inspired by Greta Thunberg. She continued to protest every week, becoming a well-known face in a movement of young people “striking” for the climate around the world. In 2020 she came to further global prominence when she was cropped out of a news photo she appeared in alongside Thunberg and other white climate activists. Nakate’s response to the incident, in which she said the news outlet “didn’t just erase a photo, you erased a continent”, made international headlines.


Nakate has since used her platform to advocate for climate justice to include every community, especially those from the most affected places. She founded Rise Up Movement, a platform to elevate the voices of African climate activists, as well as a project to install solar panels in rural Ugandan schools. She has addressed world leaders at the COP25 and COP26 climate summits and appeared on the cover of TIME magazine.


Globally, approximately 1 billion children – nearly half the world's 2.2 billion children – live in one of the 33 countries classified by UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index as at “extremely high-risk” of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, and exposing them to deadly diseases. The top ten countries are all in Africa.


Nakate joins the ranks of other recent high-profile supporters such as actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, recording artists Katy Perry and Angelique Kidjo, Syrian refugee and education activist Muzoon Almellehan and, most recently, UNICEF’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador actress Millie Bobby Brown.
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