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Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas
Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas

This page is background information, last updated in May 2002 and still available for reference. For the latest on the Special Session on Children, please go to the Special Session index.

Agenda and activities

In this page you will find information on:

  1. Programme of the Special Session
  2. Supporting Events
  3. Signing and ratifying treaties relating to children
1. Programme of the Special Session

The programme of events is available in HTML or as 2 PDF files.

HTML: View the complete programme of events .

PDF, 2 parts: View the programme of events [pdf] and the updates/changes of 2 May [pdf]

The official programme will be divided into three major components:

1. Debate

Heads of delegation of Member States and observers, Heads of relevant entities of the UN System and a limited number of NGOs will have the opportunity to present their statements in the plenary. The speaker's list has been established on the basis of the drawing of lots held on 6 March 2002. Two national child delegates to the Children's Forum will present the outcome of the Forum in the opening plenary.

2. Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole

Chaired by Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica, Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee. The list of speakers can include General Assembly observers, UN system entities not represented at the head level, and NGOs.

3. Round Table

Three round tables, each co-chaired by two Heads of State or Government, will discuss the overall theme: "Renewal of commitment and future action for children in the next decade". Co-chairs are paired as follows: Mongolia and Romania; Finland and Mexico; Zambia and the Republic of Korea. Two child delegates, representing Uganda, New Zealand, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Yugoslavia and Suriname, will deliver a brief introductory statement to each round table.

A Note on the round tables [pdf | word] gives information about the background, general recommendations and practical arrangements and the participation of child delegates.

More information on the round tables is available on the United Nations web site.

2. Supporting events

A number of supporting events will allow delegates to share national experiences and best practices in promoting the well-being of children.

Supporting events framework [word]

Major supporting events include...

Children's Forum (5-7 May 2002)

This forum, to be held immediately prior to the Special Session, will gather approximately 400 children from Government and NGO delegations from around the world to discuss among themselves key actions for children.

More information on the Children's Forum is available in the Under -18 zone.

Religious Leaders' Symposium (7 May 2002)

The symposium will gather leaders of the world's major religions for discussions on the particular role that religions should play in promoting the rights of children. It will be followed by an inter-faith service.

Parliamentary Forum (9 May 2002)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNICEF will host a forum of Parliamentarians to discuss the impact of legislation and budgetary allocations on the well-being of children.

Forum on Women's Leadership for Children (9 May 2002)

Mrs. Nane Annan is inviting all First Spouses and other distinguished guests to participate in an informal exchange of views on the theme of Women's Leadership for Children.

Panel: Financing a World Fit for Children (9 May 2002)

This event will attempt to identify the most crucial measures that financial authorities need to take to ensure sufficient and sustainable financial resources for child-focused poverty reduction. Following interventions from a Panel, there will be a general debate. Expected participants include both those with control over budgetary decisions and those in a position to exert pressure for budgetary decisions in favour of children

Celebration of Leadership for Children (9 May, 7 pm)

World leaders are invited to join a celebration of leadership for children, featuring a musical and spoken tribute to leaders of the Global Movement for Children. Almost 50 million pledges made during the global campaign "Say Yes for Children" will be officially presented during this event.

Other side events are being organized around the major themes of the outcome document (promoting healthy lives, providing quality education, child protection and combating HIV/AIDS) and constituencies (Ombudspersons, mayors and youth organisations, among others). These events will provide additional opportunities for interaction between Governments, entities of the UN system and civil society organizations on the implementation of actions for children.


3. Signing and ratifying treaties relating to children

UNICEF invites all Governments to take the opportunity of the Special Session to concretely express their commitment to improving children's lives by taking action on treaties protecting children's rights.

The following are among the key Conventions, Protocols and instruments that will be put up for signature and ratification:

  • The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Right of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict;
  • The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime;
  • The Amendment to Article 43.2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, raising from ten to eighteen the number of members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

More information is available in Child Rights in Action.

Special Session home

Background information:

Agenda & activities
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Information for NGOs
Child rights in action
How is your country doing?
What you can do
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Under-18 zone
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Questions & Answers

To learn more about the Special Session, read this list of Questions and Answers [pdf | word].






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