SUVA, Feb. 27 — Fiji's former Miss South Pacific Merewalesi Nailatikau joined a global list of international goodwill ambassadors and regional and national ambassadors for UNICEF.
UNICEF said in its "State of the World Children Report 2011" that Nailatikau's appointment is the first ever UNICEF regional ambassador for the Pacific.
UNICEF representative Isiye Ndombi confirmed to media that Nailatikau joined a growing list of well known and highly respected personalities throughout the world from sports, music, and performing and film arts and many other specialist fields who play an important advocacy role to help promote the work of UNICEF.
UNICEF's goodwill and regional ambassadors include world renowned figures like Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan, Soccer 's most valuable player David Beckham and Hollywood stars such as Orlando Bloom, Jackie Chan Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Ricky Martin and Susan Sarandon.
Speaking to Fiji's radio station Fijivillage website on Sunday, Nailatikau said she knows that the role comes with huge responsibilities to ensure the voice and concern of the youth in the Pacific is echoed on the world stage.
The news came as UNICEF dedicates "State of the World Children Report 2011" to adolescents in the year. The report refers to adolescence as the age of opportunity when learning and development of skills are at their greatest heights.
Ndombi said it is during this time that adolescents are able to develop skills to pull themselves out of poverty and make a significant contribution to their communities.
This is also a time when risk, vulnerability and missed opportunities can completely derail their development and potential, added the UNICEF representative. (PNA/Xinhua)<bnr> DCT/rsm