|Nelson Mandela, Nobel laureate and former President of South Africa, addresses the 'Celebration of Leadership' event at the UN Special Session on Children|
In May 2002, presidents, kings, crown princes, prime ministers, ministers and other senior officials, as well as children and young people, from 189 countries met at the United Nations in New York for a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. The Special Session culminated in an international agreement on protecting and promoting children's rights, called A World Fit for Children. World leaders unanimously embraced a set of time-bound goals for children. These goals fall into the following areas: promoting healthy lives; providing quality education; protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence; and combating HIV/AIDS. All nations agreed to undertake specific follow-up measures to ensure that the goals of A World Fit for Children become a reality in their own countries and around the world.
The Special Session on Children was held to review progress made since the landmark World Summit for Children held in New York in 1990. The World Summit for Children was the first of the major development summits of the 1990s.
(The following links open in a new window and will take you to non-UNICEF web sites.) The goals of A World Fit for Children complement and are inspired by the Millennium Summit Declaration. That declaration was approved by the largest gathering of world leaders in human history, at the Millennium Summit in New York in September 2000. The Millennium Summit Declaration covers peace and security, environment, human rights and the Millennium Development Goals, most of which relate directly to children. Important follow-up conferences were held at Monterrey on Financing for Development and at Johannesburg on Sustainable Development. The world community agreed on goals for women at the Beijing Conference in 1995 and its follow-up conference in 2000.