UN SPECIAL SESSION ON CHILDREN: Nominations for children and young people’s participation in the roundtables

Summary: Nomination process for child delegates to participate in the Special Session follow up event to take place in New York on 11 and 12 December 2007. The selection process has been set up by UNICEF and the Global Movement for Children (GMC).

From 8 to 10 May 2002, over 400 children participated in the most important international conference on children held at the United Nations in New York in more than a decade - the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children (SSC).

There the nations of the world committed themselves to a series of goals to improve the situation of children and young people. The Special Session was a landmark, the first such Session devoted exclusively to children and the first to include them as official delegates in the United Nations. It was convened to review progress since the World Summit for Children (WSC) in 1990 and to re-energise global commitment to children's rights. About 70 Heads of State and/or Government, their deputies, together with many high-ranking government delegations came to New York to take part in the Session.

In June 2007, the UN General Assembly decided to convene a commemorative high-level plenary meeting to evaluate progress made in the implementation of the Declaration and the Plan of Action contained in the document “A World Fit for Children”. This Commemorative Event will comprise plenary sessions and two thematic interactive Roundtables to be held in New York on 11 and 12 December 2007.

The UN General Assembly has invited 20 children and young people and 20 representatives of NGOs to participate in the 2 Roundtable discussions during the Commemorative Event. The UN General Assembly has asked that the names of the 20 children and young people be submitted to it by 30th September 2007.

The General Assembly has also determined that a girl and a boy will be selected through a process organised by UNICEF to address the high-level plenary meeting at its closing session. Governments will also be invited to include children in their official delegations to the commemorative event. It is also expected that youth organisations and NGOs will also be bringing children to New York during this event.

Furthermore, a Children’s Forum is being organised prior to the commemorative event from 9 to 10 December 2007 in order to prepare children for the meeting and to provide a space where they can articulate their views on progress on the WFFC and other important issues and problems affecting young people around the world. More details on this will follow at a later date.

Nomination for participation in the roundtables

It is in this context that UNICEF, in collaboration with the Global Movement for Children (GMC), has set up a selection process to identify the 20 children and young people who will participate in the Roundtables. UNICEF and the Global Movement for Children (GMC) partners will each select a group of 10 children and young people to participate in the SSC/WFFC+5 Roundtables. The selection criteria for both groups are the same.

Children selected to participate will represent their peers. At the time of the meeting, they should be under 18 years, have a working knowledge of English or any other UN language and demonstrate ability to advocate on the issues and problems that concern them. They should show special interest in and understanding of the topics addressed by WFFC and experience of working on one or more of these topics. Children under 18 years of age will be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

3.1 Selection Criteria for child delegates

  • Age: At the time of the meeting, the child delegate should preferably be between 13 to 17 years old.
  • Life experience and community involvement: The child delegate should have direct experience or expertise in issues and current involvement in activities (including projects, research and advocacy) in their school, community or country that pertain to at least one - preferably more - themes of the Commemorative Event – viz, Healthy Lives, Quality Education, Protection and HIV and AIDS.
  • Many groups of children tend to get excluded from attending international meetings. Therefore, children from the following backgrounds are encouraged to be considered for nomination: children from rural areas, children with disabilities, children from ethnic minority groups, working children, and children from a variety of social groupings.
  • Wherever possible, the child delegate should be mandated by their peers in a group or organisation to attend the meeting as they will speak on behalf of a broader cross-section of their country’s children.
  • The child delegate should have a sound understanding and experience of issues related to children and young people in their country.
  • The child delegate should be part of an existing peer group or organisation so that s/he can feedback their experiences and learning on their return, and propose ways of action to other children after the meeting.
  • Gender balance should be considered – girl delegates should be accompanied by women.
  • The chaperones will be asked to translate for the young person in their care. The chaperone is, thus, required to have a working knowledge of English.

For full details of the nomination process, go here.

The nomination form is available here.

Completed GMC nomination forms should be sent to [email protected]

Deadline for nominations: 24th September

More information

  • The outcome document ‘A World Fit for Children’
  • CRIN’s ‘Reader on National Plans of Action for Children’
  • ‘Follow-up report to the special session of the General Assembly on children: report of the Secretary-General’
  • UNICEF page ‘Follow-up to the UN Special Session on Children’
  • UNICEF's page on the ‘UN Special Session on Children’

    pdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/Child_delegates_info.doc


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