LibLink: Paddy Ashdown – Rio+20 is a chance to secure our children’s future

Paddy Ashdown – former Lib Dem leader and president of Unicef UK – has an op-ed in the Daily Telegraph setting out his hopes for the Rio+20 summit currently taking. Here’s a sample:

Right now an estimated 18 million people in the Sahel region of west Africa are being affected by drought, disease and conflict. In 2011 alone UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, responded to 292 humanitarian emergencies in 80 countries. Children are always the most vulnerable in such situations, typically representing over 50 per cent of those affected by disasters, equating to between 100 and 175 million children each year.

This is why helping children to cope with, and avoid being harmed by, disasters must be central to discussions at Rio. How can we create a sustainable future for our planet without first prioritising their protection and development? It will be children and our children’s children who will face the consequences of decisions made this week. Their generation will be the ones attending Rio+40, Rio+60 and Rio+80.

You can read Paddy’s full piece here.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

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