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On World Children's Day, the Slovenian Presidential Palace as the first presidential palace in the world to become a UNICEF Safe Point

Ljubljana, 20. 11. 2020 | press release, statement

On World Children's Day, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor addressed children at a virtual event organised by UNICEF. The event was held under the slogan "KEY me IN, I am the KEY to the solution", and it was attended by children from all over Slovenia and UNICEF Junior Ambassadors.

The Slovenian Presidential Palace is the first presidential palace in the world to become a UNICEF Safe Point. UNICEF Safe Points are various public spaces that offer children immediate protection, help or just advice in distress. Children can recognise these safe points by a special sign depicting a smiling house, which is affixed to a visible place near the entrance.

The purpose of World Children's Day, which coincides with the 31st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is to give children the opportunity to have their voices heard and considered. On this day, children worldwide take on the roles of adults, draw attention to the position of their peers around the world, and express their opinions and wishes for a better future.

On World Children's Day, the Slovenian Presidential Palace as the first presidential palace in the world to become a UNICEF Safe Point
Photo: UPRS

Below is the Slovenian President's address. Check against delivery.

"Dear Children,

When we spent time together at the Presidential Palace exactly a year ago, we talked about the future.

The Crystal Hall was full of joy and excitement, filled with your ideas and plans. I looked into your eyes and saw a future full of optimism and unstoppable energy.

That is when you told me what kind of future you wanted to have. How adults should help you make your wishes come true. I carry your words in my mind and heart. Every decision and every call on the community I make as the Slovenian president is a reflection of the responsibility I feel towards each and every one of you.

Today, only a year later, however, everything is different. There is no joy and excitement in the Crystal Hall. At the moment, even school hallways are no longer filled with your laughter. But we still found a way to maintain our friendship during the epidemic. To take care of each other and our health.

Today, you will also be talking about the future. We do not know what it will be like. We do know, however, that we must strive every day to make it beautiful, fair and inclusive.

With you in mind, with a future in mind in which we will see each other again, talk to each other, perhaps even share a secret wish, I would like to tell you that as of today the Presidential Palace has become a UNICEF Safe Point.

The doors of the Presidential Palace are wide open to you. Whenever you are in distress. Whenever you will need the help of an adult or just someone you would like to confide in. You will always be safe here and there will always be someone here who will listen to you.

Young Friends,

Please accept my best wishes on World Children's Day. It is my sincere wish that, despite this extraordinary situation, you will remain full of optimism and hold on to your playfulness. Everything will be fine. You can count on that."