Statement from UNICEF UK in response to Ivan Lewis's speech at the Labour Party conference: 

“Children should be at the heart of development, and as such UNICEF UK welcomes Ivan Lewis’s calls, in his speech this morning, for an integrated approach to early years development across the world to be prioritised.

 “The Millennium Development Goals have seen real progress for children; tackling hunger, increasing access to education, and improving child and maternal health. Now, as we move forward towards a new global development framework, we must put these most important interventions together into an integrated approach that best invests in changing the lives of the world’s poorest children.

“We know that the first 1000 days of a child’s life are the most critical: under-nutrition and a lack of cognitive stimulation during this time sets a child back irreversibly.

Investing in children’s early years is not only best for them to reach their full potential, but also best for their community, and for their nation’s future.”


Note to editors 

UNICEF UK spokespeople are available for comment. For further information, please contact:

Ju-Lin Tan, Media Manager, UNICEF UK, 020 7375 6069, 07814 549 071,


UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit