In anticipation of the G8 Summit hosted by Italy in July, Ombuds for Children from all G8 countries met in Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy on 25-26 June for the O8 Summit. The event aimed to promote the best interests of the child and investment in childhood as priority themes for discussion at the G8.
The O8 Summit was organized by the Province of Nuoro, which is committed to promote the role of the Ombuds for children on behalf of the Association of the Provinces of the Mediterranean area and which has recently established an Ombuds for Children. The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, as host of the Secretariat of the Global Network of Ombuds for Children, served as a resource and partner in the event.
The Summit brought together Ombuds for Children or similar independent human rights institutions from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States to discuss the consequences of two key crises facing children today - the global financial crisis and climate change - and examine the role that they can play to promote sound policies to help mitigate these impacts.
Research has shown that climate change affects children's health, nutrition and livelihoods. The economic crisis results in increased school drop-outs, domestic violence, and growing disparities. While the economic cycle will eventually turn positive again, impacts on children will nevertheless be long lasting.
Ombuds for children called G8 Leaders for investing in childhood to address the critical problems caused by the financial and climate crisis, and prepared five recommendations to ensure that the best interest of the child would be given primary consideration in all discussions during the G8 meeting:
- Invest in national and global social protection,
- Address climate change now,
- Maintain and increase development cooperation,
- Mobilize human resources,
- Establish, increase, maintain, and reinforce Ombudspersons for Children in more countries and regions.
The O8 Summit outcomes also support discussions to be held at the Junior-8 (J8), an initiative promoted by UNICEF to be held from 4 to 12 July in Rome and L'Aquila, gathering adolescent representatives from the G8 countries and from 6 not-G8 countries who will present their views and recommendations to G8 leaders. Updated on 6 July 2009