UNICEF 40th anniversary
In 1986 the 40th anniversary of UNICEF was celebrated.
On 16 September 1986 the
First Earth Run was organized. After lighting the first torch at the United
Nations Headquarters by elders from the Hopi and Iroquois Nations (native
Americans) events were held throughout the world. Not only in cities in the
West, but also in the Soviet Union and China. In Nicaragua the
fighting between the government troops and the contras seized for one day to
let children carry the torch through the streets of Managua.
opening ceremony was conducted by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar,
president Ronald Reagan and UNICEF director James P. Grant, together with
hundreds of children and attended by 20.000 people.
For 86 days a flame travelled around the world to 62
countries, from Uganda to Iceland, from the United Kingdom to Australia, from
Bahrain to Burkina Faso, and of course Amsterdam. UNICEF became the focal
point, but the event also commemorated the International Year of Peace. The
torch was greeted by world leaders as Margaret Thatcher, pope John Paul II,
Corazon Aquino, and famous Olympians as
Emil Zatopek. The flame burned at the Taj Mahal, the Great
Wall of China and Hiroshima Peace Park.
The website A
dream for our world initiative by David Gershon.
Tunisia 14 September 1987
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revised: 13 February 2008