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Policy advocacy and partnerships for children's rights

What the global goals mean for children


On 25 September 2015, world leaders committed to 17 global goals to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years – end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change.

The global goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people. 

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26 September: More than 300 CEOs, heads of state, United Nations and civil society leaders attend the United Nations Private Sector Forum to discuss the role of business in implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals. Among the outcomes are 35 corporate commitments to benchmark sustainable development actions. Learn more about who was there and what they discussed.

25 September: Girls' education advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations General Assembly. "Look up, because the future generation is raising their voice." [Video]

25 September: Grammy Award-winning singers and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Shakira and Angélique Kidjo raise their voices in support of a new development era for children, with powerful performances before an audience at the United Nations General Assembly including over 130 heads of state and government.
Watch: Shakira takes the stage and sings 'Imagine'. "Don't just imagine, do." [Video]
Watch: Angélique Kidjo raises her voice for children before a moving performance of her song ‘Afirika'. [Facebook video]

25 September: Sustainable Development Goals are adopted: “Today’s welcome decision marks the end of a process – and a beginning. The drive to turn commitments into action." – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake

24 September: Voices of children and youth are at the heart of United Nations General Assembly: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and two young people from the UNICEF Voices of Youth initiative have unveiled a new digital installation that harnesses the power of mobile technology and social media to bring the messages of children to world leaders.
Watch: David Beckham makes a powerful appeal. [Video]

24 September: See what such participants as President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning Amina J. Mohammed and youth advocate Chernor Bah had to say about the new Sustainable Development Goals and equality, at an event held by UNICEF and the Guardian. [The Guardian]

22 September: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira urges global leaders to invest heavily in early childhood development.

"I hope everyone will join me in asking world leaders to put children, especially the most disadvantaged, at the heart of the new global goals." – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham

Follow the UNICEF Press Office: @UNICEFMedia

Watch what's going on live, and on demand, at General Assembly: UN Web TV

Join the conversation: #UNGA

#globalgoals for #EVERYchild

Read about the 17 goals for sustainable development.

The global goals [PDF]: Sustainable development doesn’t have a chance if children don’t have a chance.

Tell everyone about the global goals and become a #GlobalCitizen

Learn how Project Everyone is making the global goals resonate with everyone, everywhere.

Watch vlogger Shameless Maya talk global goals at the United Nations. [Video]

Join the conversation: #globalgoals

Voices of children

Voices of Youth: Inspiring, original insight and opinion from across the globe – from young people, for young people.

Climate change crusade - short-term commitments for long-term climate change policy: "Far from the negotiating tables and discussion rooms, hurdles still exist at the grassroots level. Convincing the public that they will have to change their habits or lifestyles ... is yet another challenge for creative governance."

A touch of love: "If Africa allowed love, just a touch of love to fill their hearts our economies will rise our people will be empowered our infrastructure will be developed it only takes a touch of love."

Welcome to Kiribati: A video from the 2012 oneminutesjr. workshop in the Republic of Kiribati. [Video]

"Climate change is where short-term thinking and long-term consequences collide for individuals and governments alike." – Voices of Youth blogger Bhavana SinghDear world leaders: Every five minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies as a result of violence. [Photo essay]
Join the conversation: #ENDviolence

Progress for Children: Nearly 15 years ago, world leaders developed the Millennium Development Goals, ambitious objectives to be achieved by 2015 that would realize a brighter future for all. While collective efforts to achieve those goals have yielded significant gains worldwide, millions of the world’s most vulnerable children still need to be reached. [Photo essay]

Follow @voicesofyouth

© UNICEF/GHAA2015-00670/Quarmyne
Abdul Aziz (right), 13 years old and in fifth grade, works in an informal gold processing facility in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana, where ore from illegal 'galamsey' mines is processed. Child labour is common, both as a result of poverty and because of the lure of quick money.

On the agenda

Agenda for #EVERYchild 2015: 2015 should be a year of global action for children, engaging everyone – governments, institutions, corporations, communities, families and individuals in every country – to demand and drive change for every child, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake: An open letter to the generation that will grow up with the Sustainable Development Goals – "You can't yet know this, but every one of these goals is really about you. About the world in which you will grow up – and the world you will leave someday to your own children." [Huffington Post]

"[W]hen world leaders come together this month, they will be doing more than agreeing to 17 goals. They will be coming together in common commitment to the hard, and sometimes politically difficult, work necessary to reach the global goals for every child – rich or poor." – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake

Nicholas Alipui, Director and Senior Adviser of UNICEF's Post-2015 Development Agenda, and Shannon O'Shea, Programme Specialist: Investing in all children: Towards equitable, inclusive and sustainable development [Harvard International Review]

Nicholas Alipui: Inequality harms us all – "The need to address inequalities is an issue for all countries across the world. And the inclusion of a headline goal to reduce inequality within and among countries in the new global-development agenda is a clear sign that governments are taking this problem seriously." [Huffington Post]

UNICEF Chief of Education Josephine Bourne: 'Education for all' means prioritizing the children furthest left behind. [Huffington Post]

Find out about the process that has led to this historic moment.

Join the conversation: #post2015

For children and youth – and those who teach them


Voices of Youth: Inspiring, original insight and opinion from across the globe – from young people, for young people.

Global Citizen: A community of people who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges – and use their power to get other people involved too.

Towards a sustainable development agenda: The United Nations website shows why 2015 is the time for global action.

Action 2015: Join the millions who have already taken action to end poverty, inequality and climate change.

Follow @voicesofyouth


World’s Largest Lesson: Explore the global goals with this guide written for children and young people.

Check out more child-friendly learning materials about the global goals.

Tune in to @UNICEFEducation

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1888/Noorani
Women with small children wait for services at the health centre in Pachudone Village, in Ta Oi District, Saravane Province, Lao People's Democratic Republic. The UNICEF/EU-supported programme also raises awareness about the importance of a balanced diet for younger children and for pregnant and lactating women.

UNICEF stories

Young health volunteer tackles HIV among adolescents in Brazil
Here is what one boy, already a seven-year veteran of health volunteering, is doing to help prevent HIV infection among adolescents in Fortaleza, Brazil.

In Burkina Faso, sowing the seeds for a sustainable future
It’s hot, dry and dusty, in this corner of Burkina Faso. With support from UNICEF and funding from the European Union, Kientego Zourata and other women from the village are working the plot that will sustain their families in lean times and help their children to thrive.

How Ethiopia managed to supply water to 48 million people
Today, we’re celebrating something special in Ethiopia – reaching the water Goal 7c of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). What does this mean? Put simply, it means 57 percent of the country’s population now is drinking water from an improved water supply such as a tap or hand pump, rather than from an open stream.

In Madagascar, young people in the service of community and environment
Thanks to the Voices of Youth Maps and Let Us Learn initiatives, young people in Madagascar have learned to express themselves and get involved through mobile technology.

In Pakistan, a skilled birth attendant delivers health and safety for mothers and children
Antenatal and postnatal care for women in rural Pakistan has improved dramatically, thanks in part to the work of women like Shagufta Shahzadi, a skilled birth attendant trained under a UNICEF-supported programme.

Building nutrition security in Asia [photo essay]

UNICEF Image: Graphic poster of Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations
© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1532/Zaidion
A child and a woman carrying livestock fodder walk along a narrow strip of land surrounded by flood water in Wali Mohammad Chandio Village, in Sindh Province, Pakistan. Over 5.4 million people – including 2.7 million children – were affected by monsoon rains and flooding in Pakistan in 2011.



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