NEW YORK, 13 December 2007 - At the close of the World Fit for Children + 5 special session in New York, more than 140 government delegations have adopted a new Declaration on Children. “I am delighted to see this high level meeting has broken new ground,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam. “This short but powerful declaration calls for the pursuit of a common vision to ensure the well-being of all children with a collective sense of urgency."
Declaration of the commemorative high-level plenary meeting devoted to the follow-up to the outcome of the special session on children The General Assembly,
Adopts the following declaration: Declaration of the commemorative high-level plenary meeting devoted to the follow up to the outcome of the special session on children
1. We, the representatives of States gathered at the commemorative high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, are encouraged by the progress achieved since 2002 in creating a world fit for children. Fewer children under five are dying each year. More children are in school than ever before. More educational opportunities are being equally extended to girls and boys. More medicines are available for children, including those infected by HIV/AIDS. More laws, policies and plans are in place to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation. Our present and future actions should build upon those important gains.
2. Yet many challenges persist. Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge, as poverty poses difficulties to meeting the needs, protecting and promoting the rights of all children in the world. Despite encouraging achievements, the number of children dying before their fifth birthday remains unacceptably high. Malnutrition, pandemics, including HIV/AIDS, as well as malaria, tuberculosis and other preventable diseases continue to be a hindrance to a healthy life for millions of children. Lack of access to education remains a significant obstacle to their development. A large number of children are still subject to violence, exploitation and abuse, as well as to inequity and discrimination, in particular against the girl child. We will work to break the cycle of poverty, achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, create an environment that is conducive to the well-being of children and realize all the rights of the child.
3. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action contained in the outcome document of the twenty-seventh special session of the General Assembly on children, entitled “A world fit for children”, recognizing that their implementation and the fulfilment of obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocols thereto and other relevant international instruments are mutually reinforcing in protecting the rights and promoting the well-being of all children. In all our actions, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
4. A scaled-up, cross-sectorial response by Governments, increased international cooperation and broader and more focused partnerships, including with the mass media and the private sector, and global, regional and national initiatives are critical to the achievement of the goals of the special session on children. We reaffirm our determination to pursue the agreed global targets and actions for mobilizing resources for children, in accordance with “A world fit for children.”
5. As we welcome the voices and the views of children, including adolescents, heard at the commemorative plenary meeting, we strive to strengthen their participation in the decisions that affect them, in accordance with their age and maturity.
6. We renew our political will to intensify our efforts towards building a world fit for children. We are confident that our collective aspirations will be realized if all relevant actors, including civil society, are united for children. All our policies and programmes should promote the shared responsibility of parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers and society as a whole in this regard, bearing in mind that a child should grow up in a safe and supportive family environment. By giving high priority to the rights of children, to their survival and to their protection and development, we serve the best interest of all humanity. In solidarity, we will pursue our common vision of ensuring the well-being of all children in all societies, with a collective sense of urgency.