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August 29, 2011

Novak Djokovic

Kathryn Donovan

Rima Salah


KATHRYN DONOVAN: Everyone, thanks so much for staying here for this very special announcement today. Rima Salah, UNICEF executive deputy director will be speaking to you. Thanks.
RIMA SALAH: Members of the press, Novak, it's a great pleasure to be here this afternoon. You all know Novak Djokovic as a world tennis champion, but he's also a champion for children, passionate about his work in promoting the rights and best interests of children in Serbia.
Novak's unwavering commitment to child rights will contribute to creating a world fit for children in Serbia. UNICEF has a long tradition in Serbia. We have been active in the country for more than 60 years assisting in the efforts to protect and promote children's rights.
UNICEF's work in Serbia has one clear goal: to reach the country's most vulnerable children. These are the most marginalized children and adolescents, such as the poorest, those with disabilities, and those from Roma communities. UNICEF works to ensure that they are not left behind while the rest of Serbia forges ahead.
Members of the press, ladies and gentlemen, a champion like Novak is constantly juggling the demands both on and off the court; therefore, we are extremely grateful that he is volunteering his time and lending his voice to raising the profile of issues around the need for early childhood education in Serbia, and the importance of investing in learning opportunities for young children there.
Early education of children in Serbia is one of the weakest parts of the education system, contrary to its critical importance for further education and development.
Left out of early learning programs, vulnerable children are further deprived of some of the basic rights and opportunities for development.
In addition to missing a key window of opportunity for learning and future achievement, being out of preschool means children have fewer chances to play and socialize with peers or to learn sports and participate in physical recreation.
But we know with Novak's help that UNICEF can help change this. Yes, Novak, you will change this. Novak, your passion and commitment inspires us all. We will accomplish so much together, and we are privileged to have you as our ambassador.
You are a role model to so many Serbian youth. Thank you for making this a priority and for joining us formally as UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Thank you. (Applause.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you. I would just like to say a couple words. Thank you very much for your inspiring words.
Well, I'm very proud to partner with UNICEF in order to increase the awareness of the early childhood education in Serbia. As we mentioned before, this is one of the weaker links of Serbia, and, you know, I look forward working with UNICEF to make a difference in the young child's life in Serbia, and to try particularly to help the children who don't have the opportunity, you know, to show their potential.
Of course, I would like to add that, you know, through my work as well with UNICEF I would like to help Serbian children to realize their dreams, you know, because I have been dreaming myself all my life to become the world's best tennis player, and I think anything is possible if you really believe that you can achieve it.
RIMA SALAH: Thank you very much. (Applause.)
KATHRYN DONOVAN: So we are going to ask you to take a minute and to sign and Rima will countersign it, and we will put a pin on you and give you a special gift.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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