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'A World Fit for Us'
Children call for action at the General Assembly
Children made history on 8 May 2002 when two child delegates
from the Children's Forum addressed the opening session of
the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children
in New York. It was the first time in UN history that children
formally addressed the General Assembly on behalf of children.
The Special Session, which continued through 10 May, was
itself a landmark, the first such Session devoted exclusively
to children and the first to include them as official delegates.
It was convened to review progress since the World Summit
for Children in 1990 and re-energize global commitment to
"We are the world's children," began Gabriela Azurduy
Arrieta, a 13-year-old delegate from Bolivia. Together with
another delegate, 17-year-old Audrey Cheynut from Monaco,
she read from a statement developed over three days by 404
children and young people who attended the Children's Forum
in New York 5-7 May, before participating at the Special Session
itself. At the Forum, young delegates discussed issues critical
to the rights and well-being of children and developed a joint
call to action, 'A World Fit for Us'.
'A WORLD FIT FOR US' (extract)
We are the world's children.
We are the victims of exploitation and abuse.
We are street children.
We are the children of war.
We are the victims and orphans of HIV/AIDS.
We are denied good-quality education and health care.
We are victims of political, economic, cultural, religious
and environmental discrimination.
We are children whose voices are not being heard: it is
time we are taken into account.
We want a world fit for children, because a world fit for
us is a world fit for everyone.
The three-day Children's Forum was an historic event that
offered a unique opportunity for children and adolescents
to make their voices heard from a global platform. It also
allowed decision makers to experience first-hand the children's
passionate and articulate views through the Children's Forum
As Thomas Burke, an under-18 delegate from the United Kingdom,
explained: "At the end of the Children's Forum we explicitly
told governments what a world fit for all of us would look
Read more about children addressing the General Assembly
call for action as Special Session opens'.
Read the full
text of the Children's Forum statement, 'A World Fit for Us'