A Syrian refugee, now settled in Prince Edward Island, took part in a "children's takeover" of the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

The event was part of a celebration of Universal Children's Day.

Twelve-year-old Basel Alrashdan, who arrived on P.E.I. in December 2015, was part of a crowd of children who rushed to the front of a conference room at the UN and announced the takeover. Alrashdan took part in a rap about children's wishes for the world, based on the Stevie Wonder song As.

After the song, Alrashdan shared the podium with 10-year-old Nancy.

"We are both from Syria. Our country is not safe for children," he told the crowd.

35 million children trapped

The two spoke of their experience of the Syrian war. Alrashdan was just six years old when he was forced from his home by the violence, and his family struggled in temporary homes for four years before they learned they would be among the first Syrian refugees to settle in Prince Edward Island.

"I was very scared at first. Canada seemed so far away," he said.

"We are happy that we are safe, but we will never forget about the six million children affected by the war in Syria, or the 35 million other children trapped by emergencies."

Alrashdan said he is proud to be a Syrian Canadian, and he has even learned to love all the snow.