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


NGO participation in the Special Session

NGOs played a vital role in the preparatory processes of the Special Session on Children and in the event itself, their numbers growing and their influence strengthening over the past two years. Their participation - like that of children and adolescents - was unprecedented in a number of ways:

  • NGOs were very involved in the preparatory processes of the Special Session and in the negotiations of its final text 'A World Fit for Children'.
  • NGOs who participated formally at the Session were not only ECOSOC-accredited organizations, but also grass-roots NGOs who partner with UNICEF at the national level.
  • Delegations from NGOs included a great number of children and adolescents.
  • In the number of official and supporting events in which they participated and that they organized, NGOs discussed important issues and promoted ways for governments, civil- society organizations and children to work together to make the world a better place for all.
  • NGOs stressed the importance of a child rights-based approach in the development of national plans of action and in all follow-up action to the Special Session.
  • They prepared a Commitment Chart that tracked the pledges of Governments, NGOs and other non-state participants during the Session.
  • NGOs covered the Special Session with updates and newspapers, and followed very closely the negotiations on the outcome document, 'A World Fit for Children'.
  • In their address to the General Assembly, they insisted on the importance of child rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a cornerstone for all follow-up action.
Click below for more information and resources on:


Special Session home: World leaders 'Say Yes' for children
'A World Fit for Children'
Special Session highlights
Supporting events
Voices of the Special Session
Child and adolescent participation
NGO participation
Follow-up: CRC - A cornerstone
Follow-up: National Plans of Action
Follow-up: Global Movement for Children
Documentation and links
Background information