The State of the World's Children 2003
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Ivan Blacev/Right to Know Initiative/United Nations/2002

In the United Nations Millennium Declaration, world leaders reaffirmed their shared duty to “all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs.” They subsequently pledged to a set of specific goals, the Millennium Development Goals, that will focus their collective efforts in the coming years as they undertake the challenges of poverty reduction and sustainable development.

At the closing of the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children in May 2002, world leaders set themselves an additional agenda and set of goals that are specifically concerned with ensuring the rights of every child. Their declaration at that time, ‘A World fit for Children’, included the commitment “to change the world for and with children.”

What at first glance might seem to be separate and distinct layers of pledges and promises becomes, on closer inspection, an interdependent framework for action. Six of the eight Millennium Development Goals are directly related to children, and two are indirectly related. Most of them match up easily with the four goals of ‘A World Fit for Children’ (see chart below). Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, vital for poverty reduction and sustainable development, depends on investing in meeting the goals for children. No surprise, then, that the interests of children are expected to be at the heart of every successful development agenda.

Linkages between 'A World Fit for Children' and the Millenium Agenda

Priority Areas of Actions of 'A World fit for Children'
Time Period: 2002-2010

The Millenium Summit Declaration and Millenium Development Goals
Time Period: 2000-2015

Promoting healthy lives

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality;
Goal 5: Improve maternal health;
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability.

Promoting quality education

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education;
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.

Combatting HIV/AIDS

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.

Protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence

Millenium Summit Declaration:
Section 6 - 'Protecting the Vulnerable'.