A four-day United Nations symposium on children's rights wrapped up today in Beirut with a call on Arab countries to reinforce policies ensuring young people's rights to development and social welfare.
Organized by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the League of Arab States and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Regional Symposium on Children reviewed progress in achieving the goals set at the 1990 World Summit for Children. Major challenges to children's rights, including poverty, conflict, exploitation, disability and violence, were all examined in depth.
The event, which was held at the UN House, brought together experts from Arab countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, academia, and a range of UN agencies. Youth advocates were also on hand to present recommendations on issues affecting children, while young reporters covered the event.
The results of the symposium will feed into a high-level conference on children being organized by the League of Arab States in July. That event will, in turn, help build momentum towards the General Assembly's September special session on children, which aims to review progress since the 1990 Summit, and to identify a future course of action on behalf of the world's young people.