Press Releases

    7 May 2002

    Preparatory Committee Submits Draft Outcome Document "A World Fit for Children" to General Assembly's Special Session on Children

    NEW YORK, 6 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Preparatory Committee for the General Assembly's Special Session on Children this afternoon decided to submit for further consideration by the Assembly the draft outcome document to be adopted at the session later this week. It also adopted its draft report.

    Entitled "A World Fit for Children", the outcome document includes a draft declaration and a draft plan of action to improve child well-being over the next 10 years (document A/AC.256/CPR.6/Rev.5). The special session, to be held at Headquarters from 8 to 10 May, will bring together government leaders, non-governmental organization representatives, children's advocates and children themselves to take up new challenges to the promotion and protection of their rights.

    A major step towards ensuring a new youth agenda will be a review of progress made since the 1990 World Summit for Children, where governments committed themselves to specific time-bound goals on child survival, protection and development.

    Key issues from 1990 remain central to the new global goals, including further reducing infant and maternal morality, expanding access to clean water and sanitation, and establishing universal primary education. The document approved today asks world leaders to identify strategic solutions to the problems facing children and to commit the critical human and economic resources that will be needed.

    The wide-ranging commitments contained in the draft declaration address the pressing issues of child mortality, AIDS, exploitation and poverty. Governments stress their commitment to create a world in which sustainable development -- taking into account the best interests of the child -- is based on democracy, equality, non-discrimination and social justice. They also recognize and support families and/or legal guardians, and pledge to strengthen their efforts to provide optimum care, nutrition and protection.

    Goals proposed by the draft plan of action promise to have a far-reaching impact and will make a vital contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders two years ago. Building on promises made at international conferences during the 1990s, the 2002 goals aim to pull hundreds of millions out of poverty within a generation.

    New targets have been added in the areas of HIV/AIDS and child protection, reflecting the changing nature of the challenges facing the world's children. The plan also expresses the need to address a number of environmental problems in order to ensure the health and well-being of children. Those problems include global warming, air pollution and unsafe drinking water.

    Five goals deal with the protection of children from neglect, exploitation and violence, abuses that are often hidden and undocumented. Each government has agreed to set standards for monitoring such abuses and to protect children with appropriate legislation. Three of the goals address HIV/AIDS, whose devastating impact was largely unforeseen in 1990.

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