Countries pledge to realize rights of every child at General Assembly gathering

Countries pledge to realize rights of every child at General Assembly gathering

Recognizing the many challenges that remain to improve the lives of the world’s children, participants in the General Assembly’s special meeting on children today renewed their commitments to promote and protect the rights and well-being of every child.

“We will pursue our common vision of ensuring the well-being of all children in all societies, with a collective sense of urgency,” States pledged in a declaration adopted at the end of the three-day gathering at United Nations Headquarters, reaffirming their commitment to realizing the goals set in 2002 to improve the well-being of children.

In “A World Fit for Children” – the plan of action agreed five years ago – governments committed to a set of time-bound and specific goals in four priority areas concerning children: promoting healthy lives; providing quality education; protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence; and combating HIV/AIDS.

States participating in the Assembly’s high-level meeting, known as “A World Fit for Children+5,” were encouraged by the progress achieved since 2002 but highlighted many persisting challenges, including “unacceptably high” number of children under five who continue to die every year and the toll that malnutrition and diseases continue to take on their lives.

Over 140 speakers participated in the event, including 20 children selected from around the world. In addition, more than 55 Member States included a child in their official delegation.

“The best advocates for children are children themselves,” General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim stated, expressing his appreciation to all the children that were involved in the preparations for the event and the event itself.

Calling for scaled-up efforts to improve the lives of young people, he added, “we must assure the children that the future they truly deserve and will inherit can be realized through our actions now.”