As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we are pleased to share with you excerpts from the statement issued jointly with UNICEF and civil society partners: Childs Right Connect, Child Fund Alliance, the NGO forum on UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children's Villages and World Vision.
When the international community adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 25 years ago, we made a commitment that we would do everything in our power to promote and protect their rights.
The commitment was not made for some children only, but to all of them. It was not just for some of their rights, but all rights, including the right to survive and thrive, grow and learn, to have their voices heard and answered and to be protected against discrimination and violence in all its forms of manifestation. Was a commitment to be honored not only in times of peace and prosperity, but also, and especially, in times of conflict, crisis and disasters.
The commitment to realize the rights of all children was based on the conviction that it was the strategic and the right thing to do. By promoting children's rights today, we help them become adults who will take responsibility for future generation, in turn, they help building a more prosperous, peaceful and fairer world.
It’s now twenty-five years since the Convention was adopted, progress is evident in all regions of the world. Infant mortality rates have decreased, while the number of children enrolled in education increased. Today, the world is winning the battle against extreme poverty; and more than 2.1 billion people have gained access to clean and safe water and sanitation.In celebrating 25 years today, we are inspired by the children who are growing up healthy, strong and ready to achieve the aspirations of the Convention. At the same time, we are involved in discussions on a new global development agenda for the years after 2015. These discussions made in recognition that much remains to be done to reduce the inequalities that endanger children today and threaten their hopes for the future.
Although celebrating progress, we cannot ignore the millions of children in all countries of the world who are being left out and behind. Trafficked, forced to marry early, exploited, kidnapped, terrorized, becoming mothers while children... Their capabilities are diminished and their choices limited. Their rights to survival, protection, freedom and identity are violated.
We simply cannot - and will not leave these children behind. Because of what is at stake - the lives and future of children around the world, and therefore the future of the world - we must find new ways to reach children who have not yet been reached.
But there are also new challenges - from the impact of climate change, to the devastation of the conflict and crises, to the effects of population growth. Moving on, let us challenge country by country, city by city, village by village, to do even more for children through sustained political commitment, strategic investments and actions that match our words.