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General Assembly

Distr: General
10 May 2002
Original: English

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Twenty-seventh Special session
Agenda item 8

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

[on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole (A/S-27/19/Rev.1 and Corr.1 and 2)]

S-27/2. A world fit for children

The General Assembly

Adopts the document entitled "A world fit for children" annexed to the present resolution.

6th plenary meeting
10 May 2002


I. Declaration

1. Eleven years ago, at the World Summit for Children, world leaders made a joint commitment and issued an urgent, universal appeal to give every child a better future./1

2. Since then, much progress has been made, as documented in the report of the Secretary-General entitled "We the Children"./2 Millions of young lives have been saved, more children than ever are in school, more children are actively involved in decisions concerning their lives and important treaties have been concluded to protect children. However, these achievements and gains have been uneven, and many obstacles remain, particularly in developing countries. A brighter future for all children has proved elusive, and overall gains have fallen short of national obligations and international commitments.

3. We, the heads of State and Government and representatives of States participating in the special session of the General Assembly on children, reaffirming our commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, are determined to seize this historic opportunity to change the world for and with children. Accordingly, we reaffirm our commitment to complete the unfinished agenda of the World Summit for Children and to address other emerging issues vital to the achievement of the longer-term goals and objectives endorsed at recent major United Nations summits and conferences, in particular the United Nations Millennium Declaration,/3 through national action and international cooperation.

4. We reaffirm our obligation to take action to promote and protect the rights of each child - every human being below the age of 18 years, including adolescents. We are determined to respect the dignity and to secure the well-being of all children. We acknowledge that the Convention on the Rights of the Child,/4 the most universally embraced human rights treaty in history, and the Optional Protocols thereto,/5 contain a comprehensive set of international legal standards for the protection and well-being of children. We also recognize the importance of other international instruments relevant for children.

5. We stress our commitment to create a world fit for children, in which sustainable human development, taking into account the best interests of the child, is founded on principles of democracy, equality, non-discrimination, peace and social justice and the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights, including the right to development.

6. We recognize and support parents and families or, as the case may be, legal guardians as the primary caretakers of children, and we will strengthen their capacity to provide optimum care, nurturing and protection.

7. We hereby call upon all members of society to join us in a global movement that will help to build a world fit for children by upholding our commitment to the following principles and objectives:

  1. Put children first. In all actions related to children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

  2. Eradicate poverty: invest in children. We reaffirm our vow to break the cycle of poverty within a single generation, united in the conviction that investments in children and the realization of their rights are among the most effective ways to eradicate poverty. Immediate action must be taken to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

  3. Leave no child behind. Each girl and boy is born free and equal in dignity and rights; therefore, all forms of discrimination affecting children must end.

  4. Care for every child. Children must get the best possible start in life. Their survival, protection, growth and development in good health and with proper nutrition are the essential foundation of human development. We will make concerted efforts to fight infectious diseases, tackle major causes of malnutrition and nurture children in a safe environment that enables them to be physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally secure, socially competent and able to learn.

  5. Educate every child. All girls and boys must have access to and complete primary education that is free, compulsory and of good quality as a cornerstone of an inclusive basic education. Gender disparities in primary and secondary education must be eliminated.

  6. Protect children from harm and exploitation. Children must be protected against any acts of violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination, as well as all forms of terrorism and hostage-taking.

  7. Protect children from war. Children must be protected from the horrors of armed conflict. Children under foreign occupation must also be protected, in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law.

  8. Combat HIV/AIDS. Children and their families must be protected from the devastating impact of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

  9. Listen to children and ensure their participation. Children and adolescents are resourceful citizens capable of helping to build a better future for all. We must respect their right to express themselves and to participate in all matters affecting them, in accordance with their age and maturity.

  10. Protect the Earth for children. We must safeguard our natural environment, with its diversity of life, its beauty and its resources, all of which enhance the quality of life, for present and future generations. We will give every assistance to protect children and minimize the impact of natural disasters and environmental degradation on them.

8. We recognize that the implementation of the present Declaration and the Plan of Action requires not only renewed political will but also the mobilization and allocation of additional resources at both the national and international levels, taking into account the urgency and gravity of the special needs of children.

9. In line with these principles and objectives, we adopt the Plan of Action contained in section III below, confident that together we will build a world in which all girls and boys can enjoy childhood - a time of play and learning, in which they are loved, respected and cherished, their rights are promoted and protected, without discrimination of any kind, in which their safety and well-being are paramount and in which they can develop in health, peace and dignity.

II. Review of progress and lessons learned

10. The World Declaration and the Plan of Action of the World Summit for Children/6 are among the most rigorously monitored and implemented international commitments of the 1990s. Annual reviews were held at the national level and progress reports presented to the General Assembly. A mid-decade review/7 and an extensive global end-decade review/2 were conducted. The latter included high-level regional meetings in Beijing, Berlin, Cairo, Kathmandu and Kingston, which reviewed progress, ensured follow-up to the Summit and other major conferences, promoted renewed commitment to the achievement of the goals of the Summit and guided actions for the future. Complementing efforts by Governments, a wide range of actors participated in the reviews, including children, young people's organizations, academic institutions, religious groups, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, the media, United Nations agencies, donors and major national and international non-governmental organizations.

11. As documented in the end-decade review of the Secretary-General on follow-up to the World Summit for Children, the 1990s was a decade of great promises and modest achievements for the world's children. On the positive side, the Summit and the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of the Child helped to accord political priority to children. A record 191 countries ratified, acceded to or signed the Convention. Some 155 countries prepared national programmes of action to implement the Summit goals. Regional commitments were made. International legal provisions and mechanisms strengthened the protection of children. Pursuit of the Summit goals has led to many tangible results for children: this year, 3 million fewer children will die than a decade ago; polio has been brought to the brink of eradication; and, through salt iodization, 90 million newborns are protected every year from a significant loss of learning ability.

12. Yet much more needs to be done. The resources that were promised at the Summit at both the national and international levels have yet to materialize fully. Critical challenges remain: more than 10 million children die each year, although most of those deaths could be prevented; 100 million children are still out of school, 60 per cent of them girls; 150 million children suffer from malnutrition; and HIV/AIDS is spreading with catastrophic speed. There is persistent poverty, exclusion and discrimination, and inadequate investment in social services. Also, debt burdens, excessive military spending, inconsistent with national security requirements, armed conflict, foreign occupation, hostage-taking and all forms of terrorism, as well as the lack of efficiency in the use of resources, among other factors, can constrain national efforts to combat poverty and to ensure the well-being of children. The childhood of millions continues to be devastated by hazardous and exploitative labour, the sale and trafficking of children, including adolescents, and other forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

13. The experience of the past decade has confirmed that the needs and rights of children must be a priority in all development efforts. There are many key lessons: change is possible - and children's rights are an effective rallying point; policies must address both the immediate factors affecting or excluding groups of children and the wider and deeper causes of inadequate protection and rights violations; targeted interventions that achieve rapid successes need to be pursued, with due attention to sustainability and participatory processes; and efforts should build on children's own resilience and strength. Multisectoral programmes focusing on early childhood and support to families, especially in high-risk conditions, merit special support because they provide lasting benefits for child growth, development and protection.

III. Plan of Action

A. Creating a world fit for children

14. A world fit for children is one in which all children get the best possible start in life and have access to a quality basic education, including primary education that is compulsory and available free to all, and in which all children, including adolescents, have ample opportunity to develop their individual capacities in a safe and supportive environment. We will promote the physical, psychological, spiritual, social, emotional, cognitive and cultural development of children as a matter of national and global priority.

15. The family is the basic unit of society and as such should be strengthened. It is entitled to receive comprehensive protection and support. The primary responsibility for the protection, upbringing and development of children rests with the family. All institutions of society should respect children's rights and secure their well-being and render appropriate assistance to parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers so that children can grow and develop in a safe and stable environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, bearing in mind that in different cultural, social and political systems, various forms of the family exist.

16. We also recognize that a considerable number of children live without parental support, such as orphans, children living on the street, internally displaced and refugee children, children affected by trafficking and sexual and economic exploitation and children who are incarcerated. Special measures should be taken to support such children and the institutions, facilities and services that care for them, and to build and strengthen children's own abilities to protect themselves.

17. We are determined to promote access by parents, families, legal guardians, caregivers and children themselves to a full range of information and services to promote child survival, development, protection and participation.

18. Chronic poverty remains the single biggest obstacle to meeting the needs, protecting and promoting the rights of children. It must be tackled on all fronts, from the provision of basic social services to the creation of employment opportunities, from the availability of microcredit to investment in infrastructure, and from debt relief to fair trade practices. Children are hardest hit by poverty because it strikes at the very roots of their potential for development - their growing bodies and minds. Eradication of poverty and the reduction of disparities must therefore be a key objective of development efforts. The goals and strategies agreed upon at recent major United Nations conferences and their follow-ups, in particular the Millennium Summit, provide a helpful international framework for national strategies for poverty reduction to fulfil and protect the rights and promote the well-being of children.

19. We recognize that globalization and interdependence are opening new opportunities through trade, investment and capital flows and advances in technology, including information technology, for the growth of the world economy, development and the improvement of living standards around the world. At the same time, there remain serious challenges, including serious financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies. Considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy remain for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, as well as for some countries with economies in transition. Unless the benefits of social and economic development are extended to all countries, a growing number of people in all countries and even entire regions will remain marginalized from the global economy. We must act now in order to overcome those obstacles affecting peoples and countries and to realize the full potential of opportunities presented for the benefit of all, in particular children. We are committed to an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial system. Investment in, inter alia, education and training will assist in enabling children to partake of the benefits of the breakthroughs in information and communication technologies. Globalization offers opportunities and challenges. The developing countries and countries with economies in transition face special difficulties in responding to those challenges and opportunities. Globalization should be fully inclusive and equitable, and there is a strong need for policies and measures at the national and international levels, formulated and implemented with the full and effective participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to help them to respond effectively to those challenges and opportunities, giving high priority to achieving progress for children.

20. Discrimination gives rise to a self-perpetuating cycle of social and economic exclusion and undermines children's ability to develop to the fullest. We will make every effort to eliminate discrimination against children, whether rooted in the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

21. We will take all measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including equal access to health, education and recreational services, by children with disabilities and children with special needs, to ensure the recognition of their dignity, to promote their self-reliance, and to facilitate their active participation in the community.

22. Indigenous children and children belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups are disproportionately disadvantaged in many countries owing to all forms of discrimination, including racial discrimination. We will take appropriate measures to end discrimination, to provide special support, and to ensure equal access to services for these children.

23. The achievement of goals for children, particularly for girls, will be advanced if women fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, are empowered to participate fully and equally in all spheres of society and are protected and free from all forms of violence, abuse and discrimination. We are determined to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child throughout her life cycle and to provide special attention to her needs in order to promote and protect all her human rights, including the right to be free from coercion and from harmful practices and sexual exploitation. We will promote gender equality and equal access to basic social services, such as education, nutrition, health care, including sexual and reproductive health care, vaccinations, and protection from diseases representing the major causes of mortality, and will mainstream a gender perspective in all development policies and programmes.

24. We also recognize the need to address the changing role of men in society, as boys, adolescents and fathers, and the challenges faced by boys growing up in today's world. We will further promote the shared responsibility of both parents in education and in the raising of children, and will make every effort to ensure that fathers have opportunities to participate in their children's lives.

25. It is vital that national goals for children include targets for reducing disparities, in particular those which arise from discrimination on the basis of race, between girls and boys, rural and urban children, wealthy and poor children and those with and without disabilities.

26. A number of environmental problems and trends, such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, air pollution, hazardous wastes, exposure to hazardous chemicals and pesticides, inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water and food and inadequate housing, need to be addressed to ensure the health and well-being of children.

27. Adequate housing fosters family integration, contributes to social equity and strengthens the feeling of belonging, security and human solidarity, all of which are essential for the well-being of children. Accordingly, we will attach a high priority to overcoming the housing shortage and other infrastructure needs, particularly for children in marginalized peri-urban and remote rural areas.

28. We will take measures to manage our natural resources and protect and conserve our environment in a sustainable manner. We will work to change unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, bearing in mind principles, including the principle that, in view of different contributions to global and environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. We will help to educate all children and adults to respect the natural environment for their health and well-being.

29. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols thereto contain a comprehensive set of international legal standards for the protection and wellbeing of children. We also recognize the importance of other international instruments relevant for children. The general principles of, inter alia, the best interests of the child, non-discrimination, participation and survival and development provide the framework for our actions concerning children, including adolescents. We urge all countries to consider, as a matter of priority, signing and ratifying or acceding to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocols thereto, as well as International Labour Organization Conventions Nos. 138 /8 and 182./9 We urge States parties to implement fully their treaty obligations and to withdraw reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention and to consider reviewing reservations with a view to withdrawing them.

30. We welcome the entry into force of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and urge States parties to implement them fully.

31. We, the Governments participating in the special session, commit ourselves to implementing the Plan of Action through consideration of such measures as:

  1. Putting in place, as appropriate, effective national legislation, policies and action plans and allocating resources to fulfil and protect the rights and to secure the wellbeing of children;

  2. Establishing or strengthening national bodies such as, inter alia, independent ombudspersons for children, where appropriate, or other institutions for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child;

  3. Developing national monitoring and evaluation systems to assess the impact of our actions on children;

  4. Enhancing widespread awareness and understanding of the rights of the child.

Partnerships and participation

32. In order to implement the present Plan of Action, we will strengthen our partnership with the following actors, who have unique contributions to make, and encourage the use of all avenues for participation to advance our common cause - the well-being of children and the promotion and protection of their rights:

  1. Children, including adolescents, must be enabled to exercise their right to express their views freely, according to their evolving capacity, and build selfesteem, acquire knowledge and skills, such as those for conflict resolution, decisionmaking and communication, to meet the challenges of life. The right of children, including adolescents, to express themselves freely must be respected and promoted and their views taken into account in all matters affecting them, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. The energy and creativity of children and young people must be nurtured so that they can actively take part in shaping their environment, their societies and the world they will inherit. Disadvantaged and marginalized children, including adolescents in particular, need special attention and support to access basic services, to build selfesteem and to prepare them to take responsibility for their own lives. We will strive to develop and implement programmes to promote meaningful participation by children, including adolescents, in decision-making processes, including in families and schools and at the local and national levels.

  2. Parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers have the primary role and responsibility for the well-being of children, and must be supported in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities. All our policies and programmes should promote the shared responsibility of parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers, and society as a whole in this regard.

  3. Local governments and authorities through, inter alia, strengthened partnerships at all levels, can ensure that children are at the centre of agendas for development. By building on ongoing initiatives, such as child-friendly communities and cities without slums, mayors and local leaders can improve significantly the lives of children.

  4. Parliamentarians or members of legislatures are key to the implementation of the present Plan of Action, the success of which will require that they promote awareness-raising, adopt necessary legislation, facilitate and appropriate the financial resources needed for this purpose, and monitor their effective utilization.

  5. Non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations will be supported in their work and mechanisms should be established, where appropriate, to facilitate the participation of civil society in matters relating to children. Civil society actors have a special role to play in promoting and supporting positive behaviour and creating an environment that is conducive to the well-being of children.

  6. The private sector and corporate entities have a special contribution to make, from adopting and adhering to practices that demonstrate social responsibility to providing resources, including innovative sources of financing and community improvement schemes that benefit children, such as microcredits.

  7. Religious, spiritual, cultural and indigenous leaders, with their tremendous outreach, have a key role as front-line actors for children to help to translate the goals and targets of the present Plan of Action into priorities for their communities and to mobilize and inspire people to take action in favour of children.

  8. The mass media and their organizations have a key role to play in raising awareness about the situation of children and the challenges facing them. They should also play a more active role in informing children, parents, families and the general public about initiatives that protect and promote the rights of children, and should also contribute to educational programmes for children. In this regard, the media should be attentive to their influence on children.

  9. Regional and international organizations, in particular all United Nations bodies, as well as the Bretton Woods institutions and other multilateral agencies, should be encouraged to collaborate and play a key role in accelerating and achieving progress for children.

  10. People who work directly with children have great responsibilities. It is important to enhance their status, morale and professionalism.

B. Goals, strategies and actions

33. Since the World Summit for Children, many goals and targets relevant to children have been endorsed by major United Nations summits and conferences and their review processes. We strongly reaffirm our commitment to achieve these goals and targets, and to offer this and future generations of children the opportunities denied to their parents. As a step towards building a strong foundation for attaining the 2015 international development targets and Millennium Summit goals, we resolve to achieve the unmet goals and objectives as well as a consistent set of intermediate targets and benchmarks during the course of this decade (2000 - 2010) in the following priority areas of action.

34. Taking into account the best interests of the child, we commit ourselves to implement the following goals, strategies and actions with appropriate adaptations to the specific situation of each country and the diverse situations and circumstances in different regions and countries throughout the world.

1. Promoting healthy lives

35. Owing to poverty and lack of access to basic social services, more than 10 million children under five years of age, nearly half of them in their neonatal period, die every year of preventable diseases and malnutrition. Complications related to pregnancy and childbirth and maternal anaemia and malnutrition kill more than half a million women and adolescents each year, and injure and disable many more. More than one billion people cannot obtain safe drinking water, 150 million children under five years of age are malnourished, and more than two billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.

36. We are determined to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition and poor health by providing a safe and healthy start in life for all children; providing access to effective, equitable, sustained and sustainable primary health-care systems in all communities, ensuring access to information and referral services; providing adequate water and sanitation services; and promoting a healthy lifestyle among children and adolescents. Accordingly, we resolve to achieve the following goals in conformity with the outcomes of recent United Nations conferences, summits and special sessions of the General Assembly, as reflected in their respective reports:

  1. Reduction in the infant and under-five mortality rate by at least one third, in pursuit of the goal of reducing it by two thirds by 2015;

  2. Reduction in the maternal mortality ratio by at least one third, in pursuit of the goal of reducing it by three quarters by 2015;

  3. Reduction of child malnutrition among children under five years of age by at least one third, with special attention to children under two years of age, and reduction in the rate of low birth weight by at least one third of the current rate;

  4. Reduction in the proportion of households without access to hygienic sanitation facilities and affordable and safe drinking water by at least one third;

  5. Development and implementation of national early childhood development policies and programmes to ensure the enhancement of children's physical, social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive development;

  6. Development and implementation of national health policies and programmes for adolescents, including goals and indicators, to promote their physical and mental health;

  7. Access through the primary health-care system to reproductive health for all individuals of appropriate age as soon as possible, and no later than 2015.

37. To achieve these goals and targets, taking into account the best interests of the child, consistent with national laws, religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of the people, and in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms, we will carry out the following strategies and actions:

  1. Ensure that the reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality is a health sector priority and that women, in particular adolescent expectant mothers, have ready and affordable access to essential obstetric care, well-equipped and adequately staffed maternal health-care services, skilled attendance at delivery, emergency obstetric care, effective referral and transport to higher levels of care when necessary, post-partum care and family planning in order, inter alia, to promote safe motherhood.

  2. Provide access to appropriate, user-friendly and high-quality health-care services, education and information to all children.

  3. Address effectively, for all individuals of appropriate age, the promotion of their healthy lives, including their reproductive and sexual health, consistent with the commitments and outcomes of recent United Nations conferences and summits, including the World Summit for Children, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women, their five-year reviews and reports.

  4. Promote child health and survival and reduce disparities between and within developed and developing countries as quickly as possible, with particular attention to eliminating the pattern of excess and preventable mortality among girl infants and children.

  5. Protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding of infants for six months and continued breastfeeding with safe, appropriate and adequate complementary feeding up to two years of age or beyond. Provide infant-feeding counselling for mothers living with HIV/AIDS so that they can make free and informed choices.

  6. Special emphasis must be placed on prenatal and post-natal care, essential obstetric care and care for newborns, particularly for those living in areas without access to services.

  7. Ensure full immunization of children under one year of age, at 90 per cent coverage nationally, with at least 80 per cent coverage in every district or equivalent administrative unit; reduce deaths due to measles by half by 2005; eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus by 2005; and extend the benefits of new and improved vaccines and other preventive health interventions to children in all countries.

  8. Certify by 2005 the global eradication of poliomyelitis.

  9. Eradicate guinea worm disease.

  10. Strengthen early childhood development by providing appropriate services and support to parents, including parents with disabilities, families, legal guardians and caregivers, especially during pregnancy, birth, infancy and early childhood, so as to ensure children's physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cognitive development.

  11. Intensify proven, cost-effective actions against diseases and malnutrition that are the major causes of child mortality and morbidity, including reducing by one third deaths due to acute respiratory infections; reducing by one half deaths due to diarrhoea among children under the age of five; reducing by one half tuberculosis deaths and prevalence; and reducing the incidence of intestinal parasites, cholera, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and all forms of hepatitis, and ensure that effective measures are affordable and accessible, particularly in highly marginalized areas or populations.

  12. Reduce by one half the burden of disease associated with malaria and ensure that 60 per cent of all people at risk of malaria, especially children and women, sleep under insecticide-treated bednets.

  13. Improve the nutrition of mothers and children, including adolescents, through household food security, access to basic social services and adequate caring practices.

  14. Support populations and countries suffering from severe food shortages and famine.

  15. Strengthen health and education systems and expand social security systems to increase access to integrated and effective health, nutrition and childcare in families, communities, schools and primary health-care facilities, including prompt attention to marginalized boys and girls.

  16. Reduce child injuries due to accidents or other causes through the development and implementation of appropriate preventive measures.

  17. Ensure effective access by children with disabilities and children with special needs to integrated services, including rehabilitation and health care, and promote family-based care and appropriate support systems for parents, families, legal guardians and caregivers of these children.

  18. Provide special help to children suffering from mental illnesses or psychological disorders.

  19. Promote physical, mental and emotional health among children, including adolescents, through play, sports, recreation, artistic and cultural expression.

  20. Develop and implement policies and programmes for children, including adolescents, aimed at preventing the use of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and inhalants, except for medical purposes, and at reducing the adverse consequences of their abuse, as well as support preventive policies and programmes, especially against tobacco and alcohol.

  21. Develop policies and programmes aimed at children, including adolescents, for the reduction of violence and suicide.

  22. Achieve sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency disorders by 2005 and vitamin A deficiency by 2010; reduce by one third the prevalence of anaemia, including iron deficiency, by 2010; and accelerate progress towards reduction of other micronutrient deficiencies, through dietary diversification, food fortification and supplementation.

  23. In efforts to ensure universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities, pay greater attention to building family and community capacity for managing existing systems and promoting behavioural change through health and hygiene education, including in the school curriculum.

  24. Address any disparities in health and access to basic social services, including health-care services for indigenous children and children belonging to minorities.

  25. Develop legislation policies and programmes, as appropriate, at the national level and enhance international cooperation to prevent, inter alia, the exposure of children to harmful environmental contaminants in the air, water, soil and food.

2. Providing quality education

38. Education is a human right and a key factor to reducing poverty and child labour and promoting democracy, peace, tolerance and development. Yet more than 100 million children of primary school age, the majority of them girls, are not enrolled in school. Millions more are taught by untrained and underpaid teachers in overcrowded, unhealthy and poorly equipped classrooms. And one third of all children do not complete five years of schooling, the minimum required for basic literacy.

39. As agreed at the World Education Forum in Dakar,/10 which reconfirmed the mandated role of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in coordinating "Education For All" partners and maintaining their collective momentum within the process of securing basic education, we will accord high priority to ensuring by 2015 that all children have access to and complete primary education that is free, compulsory and of good quality. We will also aim at the progressive provision of secondary education. As a step towards these goals, we resolve to achieve the following targets:

  1. Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, for girls and boys, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children;

  2. Reduce the number of primary school-age children who are out of school by 50 per cent and increase net primary school enrolment or participation in alternative, good quality primary education programmes to at least 90 per cent by 2010;

  3. Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005; and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality;

  4. Improve all aspects of the quality of education so that children and young people achieve recognized and measurable learning outcomes, especially in numeracy, literacy and essential life skills;

  5. Ensure that the learning needs of all young people are met through access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes;

  6. Achieve a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women.

40. To achieve these goals and targets, we will implement the following strategies and actions:

  1. Develop and implement special strategies to ensure that schooling is readily accessible to all children and adolescents, and that basic education is affordable for all families.

  2. Promote innovative programmes that encourage schools and communities to search more actively for children who have dropped out or are excluded from school and from learning, especially girls and working children, children with special needs and children with disabilities, and help them to enrol in and attend schools, and successfully complete their education, involving Governments as well as families, communities and non-governmental organizations as partners in the educational process. Special measures should be put in place to prevent and reduce dropout due to, inter alia, entry into employment.

  3. Bridge the divide between formal and non-formal education, taking into account the need to ensure good quality in terms of educational services, including the competence of providers, and acknowledging that non-formal education and alternative approaches provide beneficial experiences. In addition, develop complementarity between the two delivery systems.

  4. Ensure that all basic education programmes are accessible, inclusive and responsive to children with special learning needs and for children with various forms of disabilities.

  5. Ensure that indigenous children and children belonging to minorities have access to quality education on the same basis as other children. Efforts must be directed to providing this education in a manner that respects their heritage. Efforts must also be directed to providing educational opportunities so that indigenous children and children belonging to minorities can develop an understanding of and sustain their cultural identity, including significant aspects such as language and values.

  6. Develop and implement special strategies for improving the quality of education and meeting the learning needs of all.

  7. Create, with children, a child-friendly learning environment, in which they feel safe, are protected from abuse, violence and discrimination, and are healthy and encouraged to learn. Ensure that education programmes and materials reflect fully the promotion and protection of human rights and the values of peace, tolerance and gender equality, using every opportunity presented by the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001 - 2010.

  8. Strengthen early childhood care and education by providing services, developing and supporting programmes directed toward families, legal guardians, caregivers and communities.

  9. Provide education and training opportunities to adolescents to help them to acquire sustainable livelihoods.

  10. Design, where appropriate, and implement programmes that enable pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers to continue to complete their education.

  11. Urge the continued development and implementation of programmes for children, including adolescents, especially in schools, to prevent and discourage the use of tobacco and alcohol and detect, counter and prevent trafficking in and the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances except for medical purposes by, inter alia, promoting mass media information campaigns on their harmful effects as well as the risk of addiction, and taking necessary actions to deal with the root causes.

  12. Promote innovative programmes to provide incentives to low-income families with school-age children to increase the enrolment and attendance of girls and boys and to ensure that they are not obliged to work in a way that interferes with their schooling.

  13. Develop and implement programmes that specifically aim to eliminate gender disparities in enrolment and gender-based bias and stereotypes in education systems, curricula and materials, whether derived from any discriminatory practices, social or cultural attitudes or legal and economic circumstances.

  14. Enhance the status, morale, training and professionalism of teachers, including early childhood educators, ensuring appropriate remuneration for their work and opportunities and incentives for their development.

  15. Develop responsive, participatory and accountable systems of educational governance and management at the school, community and national levels.

  16. Meet the specific learning needs of children affected by crises, by ensuring that education is provided during and after crises, and conduct education programmes to promote a culture of peace in ways that help to prevent violence and conflict and promote the rehabilitation of victims.

  17. Provide accessible recreational and sports opportunities and facilities at schools and in communities.

  18. Harness the rapidly evolving information and communication technologies to support education at an affordable cost, including open and distance education, while reducing inequality in access and quality.

  19. Develop strategies to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems and schools, students and learning.

3. Protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence

41. Hundreds of millions of children are suffering and dying from war, violence, exploitation, neglect and all forms of abuse and discrimination. Around the world, children live under especially difficult circumstances - permanently disabled or seriously injured by armed conflict; internally displaced or driven from their countries as refugees; suffering from natural and man-made disasters, including such perils as exposure to radiation and dangerous chemicals; as children of migrant workers and other socially disadvantaged groups; as victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Trafficking, smuggling, physical and sexual exploitation and abduction, as well as the economic exploitation of children, even in its worst forms, are daily realities for children in all regions of the world, while domestic violence and sexual violence against women and children remain serious problems. In several countries, there have been social and humanitarian impacts from economic sanctions on the civilian population, in particular women and children.

42. In some countries, the situation of children is adversely affected by unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that create obstacles to trade relations among States, impede the full realization of social and economic development and hinder the well-being of the population in the affected countries, with particular consequences for women and children, including adolescents.

43. Children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. Societies must eliminate all forms of violence against children. Accordingly, we resolve to:

  1. Protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence;

  2. Protect children from the impact of armed conflict and ensure compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law;

  3. Protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation, including paedophilia, trafficking and abduction;

  4. Take immediate and effective measures to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as defined in International Labour Organization Convention No. 182, and elaborate and implement strategies for the elimination of child labour that is contrary to accepted international standards;

  5. Improve the plight of millions of children who live under especially difficult circumstances.

44. To achieve these goals, we will implement the following strategies and actions:

    General protection

  1. Develop systems to ensure the registration of every child at or shortly after birth, and fulfil his or her right to acquire a name and a nationality, in accordance with national laws and relevant international instruments.

  2. Encourage all countries to adopt and enforce laws, and improve the implementation of policies and programmes to protect children from all forms of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation, whether at home, in school or other institutions, in the workplace, or in the community.

  3. Adopt special measures to eliminate discrimination against children on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status, and ensure their equal access to education, health and basic social services.

  4. End impunity for all crimes against children by bringing perpetrators to justice and publicizing the penalties for such crimes.

  5. Take steps with a view to the avoidance of and refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected countries, in particular children and women, that hinders their well-being and that creates obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, including the right of everyone to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being and their right to food, medical care and the necessary social services. Ensure that food and medicine are not used as tools for political pressure.

  6. Raise awareness about the illegality and harmful consequences of failing to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation.

  7. Promote the establishment of prevention, support and caring services as well as justice systems specifically applicable to children, taking into account the principles of restorative justice and fully safeguard children's rights and provide specially trained staff to promote children's reintegration in society.

  8. Protect children from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Call upon the Governments of all States, in particular States in which the death penalty has not been abolished, to comply with the obligations they have assumed under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments, including in particular articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and articles 6 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights./11

  9. End harmful traditional or customary practices, such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, which violate the rights of children and women.

  10. Establish mechanisms to provide special protection and assistance to children without primary caregivers.

  11. Adopt and implement policies for the prevention, protection, rehabilitation and reintegration, as appropriate, of children living in disadvantaged social situations and who are at risk, including orphans, abandoned children, children of migrant workers, children working and/or living on the street and children living in extreme poverty, and ensure their access to education, health, and social services as appropriate.

  12. Protect children from adoption and foster care practices that are illegal, exploitative or that are not in their best interest.

  13. Address cases of international kidnapping of children by one of the parents.

  14. Combat and prevent the use of children, including adolescents, in the illicit production of and trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

  15. Promote comprehensive programmes to counter the use of children, including adolescents, in the production of and trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

  16. Make appropriate treatment and rehabilitation accessible for children, including adolescents, dependent on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, inhalants and alcohol.

  17. Provide protection and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are women and children, in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law.

  18. Ensure that children affected by natural disasters receive timely and effective humanitarian assistance through a commitment to improved contingency planning and emergency preparedness, and that they are given all possible assistance and protection to help them to resume a normal life as soon as possible.

  19. Encourage measures to protect children from violent or harmful web sites, computer programmes and games that negatively influence the psychological development of children, taking into account the responsibilities of the family, parents, legal guardians and caregivers.

    Protection from armed conflict

  20. Strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict and adopt effective measures for the protection of children under foreign occupation.

  21. Ensure that issues pertaining to the rights and protection of children are fully reflected in the agendas of peace-making processes and in ensuing peace agreements, and are incorporated, as appropriate, into United Nations peacekeeping operations and peace-building programmes; and involve children, where possible, in these processes.

  22. End the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict contrary to international law, ensure their demobilization and effective disarmament and implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society.

  23. Put an end to impunity, prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and exclude, where feasible, these crimes from amnesty provisions and amnesty legislation, and ensure that whenever post-conflict truth and justice-seeking mechanisms are established, serious abuses involving children are addressed and that appropriate child-sensitive procedures are provided.

  24. Take concrete action against all forms of terrorism, which causes serious obstacles to the development and well-being of children.

  25. Provide appropriate training and education in children's rights and protection as well as in international humanitarian law to all civilian, military and police personnel involved in peacekeeping operations.

  26. Curb the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons and protect children from landmines, unexploded ordnance and other war materiel that victimize them, and provide assistance to victimized children during and after armed conflict.

  27. Resolve to strengthen international cooperation, including burden-sharing in and coordination of humanitarian assistance to countries hosting refugees, and to help all refugees and displaced persons, including children and their families, to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and dignity and to be smoothly reintegrated in their societies.

  28. Develop and implement policies and programmes, with necessary international cooperation, for the protection, care and well-being of refugee children and children seeking asylum and for the provision of basic social services, including access to education, in addition to health care and food.

  29. Give priority to programmes for family tracing and reunification, and continue to monitor the care arrangements for unaccompanied and/or separated refugee and internally displaced children.

  30. Assess and monitor regularly the impact of sanctions on children and take urgent and effective measures in accordance with international law with a view to alleviating the negative impact of economic sanctions on women and children.

  31. Take all necessary measures to protect children from being taken as hostages.

  32. Develop specific strategies to protect and provide for the special needs and particular vulnerabilities of girls affected by armed conflict.

    Combating child labour

  33. Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency. Provide for the rehabilitation and social integration of children removed from the worst forms of child labour by, inter alia, ensuring access to free basic education and, whenever possible and appropriate, vocational training.

  34. Take appropriate steps to assist one another in the elimination of the worst forms of child labour through enhanced international cooperation and/or assistance, including support for social and economic development, poverty eradication programmes and universal education.

  35. Elaborate and implement strategies to protect children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

  36. In this context, protect children from all forms of economic exploitation by mobilizing national partnerships and international cooperation, and improve the conditions of children by, inter alia, providing working children with free basic education and vocational training, and integration into the education system in every way possible, and encourage support for social and economic policies aimed at poverty eradication and at providing families, particularly women, with employment and income-generating opportunities.

  37. Promote international cooperation to assist developing countries upon request in addressing child labour and its root causes, inter alia, through social and economic policies aimed at poverty eradication, while stressing that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes.

  38. Strengthen the collection and analysis of data on child labour.

  39. Mainstream action relating to child labour into national poverty eradication and development efforts, especially in policies and programmes in the areas of health, education, employment and social protection.

    Elimination of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children

  40. Take concerted national and international action as a matter of urgency to end the sale of children and their organs, sexual exploitation and abuse, including the use of children for pornography, prostitution and paedophilia, and to combat existing markets.

  41. Raise awareness of the illegality and harmful consequences of sexual exploitation and abuse, including through the Internet, and trafficking in children.

  42. Enlist the support of the private sector, including the tourism industry and the media, for a campaign against sexual exploitation of and trafficking in children.

  43. Identify and address the underlying causes and the root factors, including external factors, leading to sexual exploitation of and trafficking in children and implement preventive strategies against sexual exploitation of and trafficking in children.

  44. Ensure the safety, protection and security of victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation and provide assistance and services to facilitate their recovery and social reintegration.

  45. Take necessary action, at all levels, as appropriate, to criminalize and penalize effectively, in conformity with all relevant and applicable international instruments, all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, including within the family or for commercial purposes, child prostitution, paedophilia, child pornography, child sex tourism, trafficking, the sale of children and their organs, engagement in forced child labour and any other form of exploitation, while ensuring that, in the treatment by the criminal justice system of children who are victims, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

  46. Monitor and share information regionally and internationally on the crossborder trafficking of children; strengthen the capacity of border and law enforcement officials to stop trafficking and provide or strengthen training for them to respect the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all those, particularly women and children, who are victims of trafficking.

  47. Take necessary measures, including through enhanced cooperation between Governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations to combat the criminal use of information technologies, including the Internet, for purposes of the sale of children, for child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism, paedophilia and other forms of violence and abuse against children and adolescents.

4. Combating HIV/AIDS

45. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is having a devastating effect on children and those who provide care for them. This includes the 13 million children orphaned by AIDS, the nearly 600,000 infants infected every year through mother-to-child transmission and the millions of HIV-positive young people living with the stigma of HIV but without access to adequate counselling, care and support.

46. To combat the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on children, we resolve to take urgent and aggressive action as agreed at the special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS,/12 and to place particular emphasis on the following agreed goals and commitments:

  1. By 2003, establish time-bound national targets to achieve the internationally agreed global prevention goal to reduce by 2005 HIV prevalence among young men and women aged 15 to 24 in the most affected countries by 25 per cent and by 25 per cent globally by 2010, and intensify efforts to achieve these targets as well as to challenge gender stereotypes and attitudes, and gender inequalities in relation to HIV/AIDS, encouraging the active involvement of men and boys;

  2. By 2005, reduce the proportion of infants infected with HIV by 20 per cent, and by 50 per cent by 2010, by ensuring that 80 per cent of pregnant women accessing antenatal care have information, counselling and other HIV-prevention services available to them, increasing the availability of and providing access for HIV-infected women and babies to effective treatment to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as through effective interventions for HIV-infected women, including voluntary and confidential counselling and testing, access to treatment, especially anti-retroviral therapy and, where appropriate, breast-milk substitutes and the provision of a continuum of care;

  3. By 2003, develop and by 2005 implement national policies and strategies to build and strengthen governmental, family and community capacities to provide a supportive environment for orphans and girls and boys infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including by providing appropriate counselling and psychosocial support, ensuring their enrolment in school and access to shelter, good nutrition and health and social services on an equal basis with other children; and protect orphans and vulnerable children from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, trafficking and loss of inheritance.

47. To achieve these goals, we will implement the following strategies and actions:

  1. By 2003, ensure the development and implementation of multisectoral national strategies and financing plans for combating HIV/AIDS that address the epidemic in forthright terms; confront stigma, silence and denial; address gender and age-based dimensions of the epidemic; eliminate discrimination and marginalization; involve partnerships with civil society and the business sector and the full participation of people living with HIV/AIDS, those in vulnerable groups and people mostly at risk, particularly women and young people; are resourced to the extent possible from national budgets without excluding other sources, inter alia, international cooperation; promote and protect fully all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; integrate a gender perspective; address risk, vulnerability, prevention, care, treatment and support and reduction of the impact of the epidemic; and strengthen health, education and legal system capacity.

  2. By 2005, ensure that at least 90 per cent, and by 2010 at least 95 per cent of young men and women aged 15 to 24 have access to the information, education, including peer education and youth-specific HIV education, and services necessary to develop the life skills required to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection, in full partnership with young people, parents, families, educators and health-care providers.

  3. By 2005, develop and make significant progress in implementing comprehensive care strategies to: strengthen family and community-based care, including that provided by the informal sector, and health-care systems to provide and monitor treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS, including infected children, and to support individuals, households, families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS; and improve the capacity and working conditions of health-care personnel, and the effectiveness of supply systems, financing plans and referral mechanisms required to provide access to affordable medicines, including antiretroviral drugs, diagnostics and related technologies, as well as quality medical, palliative and psychosocial care.

  4. By 2005, implement measures to increase capacities of women and adolescent girls to protect themselves from the risk of HIV infection, principally through the provision of health care and health services, including for sexual and reproductive health, and through prevention education that promotes gender equality within a culturally and gender-sensitive framework.

  5. By 2003, develop and/or strengthen strategies, policies and programmes which recognize the importance of the family in reducing vulnerability, inter alia, in educating and guiding children and take account of cultural, religious and ethical factors, to reduce the vulnerability of children and young people by ensuring access of both girls and boys to primary and secondary education, including HIV/AIDS in curricula for adolescents; ensuring safe and secure environments, especially for young girls; expanding good-quality, youth-friendly information and sexual health education and counselling services; strengthening reproductive and sexual health programmes; and involving families and young people in planning, implementing and evaluating HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes, to the extent possible.

  6. By 2003, develop and begin to implement national strategies that incorporate HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, care and treatment elements into programmes or actions that respond to emergency situations, recognizing that populations destabilized by armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and in particular women and children, are at increased risk of exposure to HIV infection; and, where appropriate, factor HIV/AIDS components into international assistance programmes.

  7. Ensure non-discrimination and full and equal enjoyment of all human rights through the promotion of an active and visible policy of de-stigmatization of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

  8. Urge the international community to complement and supplement efforts of developing countries that commit increased national funds to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic through increased international development assistance, particularly those countries most affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, countries at high risk of expansion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other affected regions whose resources to deal with the epidemic are seriously limited.

C. Mobilizing resources

48. Promoting healthy lives, including good nutrition and control of infectious diseases, providing quality education, protecting children from abuse, exploitation, violence and armed conflict and combating HIV/AIDS are achievable goals and are clearly affordable for the global community.

49. The primary responsibility for the implementation of the present Plan of Action and for ensuring an enabling environment for securing the well-being of children, in which the rights of each and every child are promoted and respected, rests with each individual country, recognizing that new and additional resources, both national and international, are required for this purpose.

50. Investments in children are extraordinarily productive if they are sustained over the medium to long term. Investing in children and respecting their rights lays the foundation for a just society, a strong economy, and a world free of poverty.

51. Implementation of the present Plan of Action will require the allocation of significant additional human, financial and material resources, nationally and internationally, within the framework of an enabling international environment and enhanced international cooperation, including North-South and South-South cooperation, to contribute to economic and social development.

52. Accordingly, we resolve to pursue, among others, the following global targets and actions for mobilizing resources for children:

  1. Express our appreciation to the developed countries that have agreed to and have reached the target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall official development assistance, and urge the developed countries that have not done so to strive to meet the yet to be attained internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall official development assistance as soon as possible. We take it upon ourselves not to spare any efforts to reverse the declining trends of official development assistance and to meet expeditiously the targets of 0.15 per cent to 0.20 per cent of gross national product as official development assistance to least developed countries, as agreed, taking into account the urgency and gravity of the special needs of children;

  2. Without further delay, implement the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and agree to cancel all bilateral official debts of heavily indebted poor countries as soon as possible, in return for demonstrable commitments by them to poverty eradication, and urge the use of debt service savings to finance poverty eradication programmes, in particular those related to children;

  3. Call for speedy and concerted action to address effectively the debt problems of least developed countries, low-income developing countries and middle-income developing countries in a comprehensive, equitable, development-oriented and durable way through various national and international measures designed to make their debt sustainable in the long term and thereby to improve their capacity to deal with issues relating to children, including, as appropriate, existing orderly mechanisms for debt reduction such as debt swaps for projects aimed at meeting the needs of children;

  4. Increase and improve access of products and services of developing countries to international markets through, inter alia, the negotiated reduction of tariff barriers and the elimination of non-tariff barriers, which unjustifiably hinder trade of developing countries, according to the multilateral trading system;

  5. Believing that increased trade is essential for the growth and development of LDCs, aim at improving preferential market access for LDCs by working towards the objective of duty-free and quota-free market access for all LDCs' products in the markets of developed countries;

  6. Mobilize new and substantial additional resources for social development, both at national and international level, to reduce disparities within and among countries, and ensure the effective and efficient use of existing resources. Further, ensure to the greatest possible extent, that social expenditures that benefit children are protected and prioritized during both short-term and long-term economic and financial crises;

  7. Explore new ways of generating public and private financial resources, inter alia, through the reduction of excessive military expenditures and the arms trade and investment in arms production and acquisition, including global military expenditures, taking into consideration national security requirements;

  8. Encourage donor and recipient countries, based on mutual agreement and commitment, to implement fully the 20/20 initiative, in line with the Oslo and Hanoi Consensus documents,/13 to ensure universal access to basic social services.

53. We will give priority attention to meeting the needs of the world's most vulnerable children in developing countries, in particular in least developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa.

54. We will also give special attention to the needs of children in small island developing States, landlocked and transit developing countries and other developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition.

55. We will promote technical cooperation between countries in order to share positive experience and strategies in the implementation of the present Plan of Action.

56. Meeting our goals and aspirations for children merits new partnerships with civil society, including with non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and innovative arrangements for mobilizing additional resources, both private and public.

57. Bearing in mind that corporations must abide by national legislation, we encourage corporate social responsibility so that it contributes to social development goals and the well-being of children, inter alia, by:

  1. Promoting increased corporate awareness of the interrelationship between social development and economic growth.

  2. Providing a legal, economic and social policy framework that is just and stable to support and stimulate private sector initiatives aimed at achieving these goals.

  3. Enhancing partnerships with business, trade unions and civil society at the national level in support of the goals of the Plan of Action. We urge the private sector to assess the impact of its policies and practices on children and to make the benefits of research and development in science, medical technology, health, food fortification, environmental protection, education and mass communication available to all children, particularly to those in greatest need.

58. We resolve to ensure greater policy coherence and better cooperation between the United Nations, its agencies, and the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as other multilateral bodies and civil society, with a view to achieving the goals of the present Plan of Action.

D. Follow-up actions and assessment

59. To facilitate the implementation of actions committed to in this document, we will develop or strengthen as a matter of urgency, if possible by the end of 2003, national and, where appropriate, regional action plans with a set of specific time-bound and measurable goals and targets based on the present Plan of Action, taking into account the best interests of the child, consistent with national laws, religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of the people and in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We will therefore strengthen our national planning and ensure the necessary coordination, implementation and resources. We will integrate the goals of the present Plan of Action into our national Government policies as well as national and subnational development programmes, poverty eradication strategies, multisectoral approaches and other relevant development plans, in cooperation with relevant civil society actors, including non-governmental organizations working for and with children, as well as children, in accordance with their age and maturity, and their families.

60. We will monitor regularly at the national level and, where appropriate, at the regional level and assess progress towards the goals and targets of the present Plan of Action at the national, regional and global levels. Accordingly, we will strengthen our national statistical capacity to collect, analyse and disaggregate data, including by sex, age and other relevant factors that may lead to disparities, and support a wide range of child-focused research. We will enhance international cooperation to support statistical capacity-building efforts and build community capacity for monitoring, assessment and planning.

61. We will conduct periodic reviews at the national and subnational levels of progress in order to address obstacles more effectively and accelerate actions. At the regional level, such reviews will be used to share best practices, strengthen partnerships and accelerate progress. Therefore:

  1. We encourage States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to consider including in their reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child information on measures taken and results achieved in the implementation of the present Plan of Action;

  2. As the world's lead agency for children, the United Nations Children's Fund is requested to continue to prepare and disseminate, in close collaboration with Governments, relevant funds, programmes and the specialized agencies of the United Nations system, and all other relevant actors, as appropriate, information on the progress made in the implementation of the Declaration and the Plan of Action. The governing bodies of the relevant specialized agencies are requested to ensure that, within their mandates, the fullest possible support is given by these agencies for the achievement of the goals outlined in the Plan of Action and to keep the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, fully informed of progress to date and additional action required during the decade ahead, using existing reporting frameworks and procedures;

  3. We request the Secretary-General to report regularly to the General Assembly on the progress made in implementing the present Plan of Action.

62. We hereby recommit ourselves to spare no effort in continuing with the creation of a world fit for children, building on the achievements of the past decade and guided by the principles of first call for children. In solidarity with a broad range of partners, we will lead a global movement for children that creates an unstoppable momentum for change. We make this solemn pledge secure in the knowledge that, in giving high priority to the rights of children, to their survival and to their protection and development, we serve the best interests of all humanity and ensure the well-being of all children in all societies.


1/ See A/45/625.

2/ A/S-27/3.

3/ See resolution 55/2.

4/ Resolution 44/25, annex.

5/ Resolution 54/263, annexes I and II.

6/ A/45/625, annex.

7/ A/51/256.

8/ Convention concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 1973.

9/ Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999.

10/ See United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Final Report of the World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal, 26 - 28 April 2000 (Paris, 2000).

11/ See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

12/ See resolution S-26/2.

13/ Adopted at meetings on the 20/20 initiative held at Oslo from 23 to 25 April 1996 (A/51/140, annex) and at Hanoi from 27 to 29 October 1998 (A/53/684, annex).