Invoking Lennon, UN launch “Imagine” project

John Lennon

John Lennon
John Lennon

By Anna Buj

 The UN General Assembly took a break from politics as diplomats celebrated the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the “Imagine” project.

The “Imagine” project is an app for mobile devices allowing users to join international music stars singing John Lennon’s classic song that has become an anthem of peace and tolerance.

Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono gave Unicef the permission to use the song and all funds raised by the project will be channeled to programmes providing education, healthcare, protection, vaccines, drinking water and emergency assistance to children in more than 150 countries and territories.

Children and international artists joined ambassadors and officials to sing “Imagine” Thursday.

Ono urged everyone in the world to “think peace, act peace, give peace and imagine peace”.

Among the stars on the stage were Australian actor Hugh Jackman and Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, who got everyone dancing.

The future of humankind depends on children, Mercury told Efe news agency, citing as an example the process of colonisation in Brazil and the Jesuits’ focus on new generations.

“They changed the indigenous people’s minds with music and through the children,” she said. “They, the children are the path to change everything, and we must always keep them as mirrors, because they are an example to remind us how to live together and in peace.”

“Children have no prejudices, they connect quickly, they look and play together with open hearts,” Mercury said.

Other stars bringing emotion to the UN were Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, and Sweden’s Laleh who sang a personal version of “Chiquita”, the song fellow Swedes ABBA performed on the same stage in 1979, the International Year of Children.

The mobile app launched by Unicef aims to create “the largest ever global sing-along.”