The United Nations Special Session on Children: For the Sake of Our Children

In May, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan released his report on ten years of national and international efforts to ensure the rights of children throughout the world to live full and productive lives. The ‘We, the Children’ report is to be presented to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children in September as a follow up to the 1990 World Summit for Children. It is a telling document, a ten year history of promises made to children, commitments kept and commitments broken. The final record is uneven and unsettling, highlighting blighted lives and wasted potential as government after government failed to invest sufficiently in basic social services or provide adequate international development assistance to invest in children’s lives.

The World Today Updated 26 October 2020 Published 1 August 2001 4 minute READ

Graça Machel

UN Special Expert on Children affected by armed conflict

As adults, governments, world leaders and an international community we have failed to deliver adequately on our promises to protect the rights of children. As a result of our catastrophic retreat from responsibility in the final decade of the last millennium, millions of children died, millions more suffered needlessly, and additional millions suffer still.

We the Children includes sets of recommendations for action that must be taken in the immediate future. Developed through a series of regional consultations over the past year with representatives of international organisations, governments and civil society groups, these are the closest to an international consensus on what should be done for children to protect their rights.

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