At the opening of the 96th CRC session, Child Rights Connect delivered a statement on behalf of its network:

Distinguished members of the Committee, representatives of UN agencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Child Rights Connect welcomes the holding of this 96th session of the Committee, amidst the challenges
posed by the UN liquidity crisis and the drastic measures adopted as a consequence. On 10 April, Child
Rights Connect issued a letter expressing deep concern about this situation, joined by almost 200
organisations from around the world, including NGOs, NHRIs and children’s ombuds, UNICEF national
committees, and academia. We joined the Committee in expressing deep concern over the cancellation
of the May pre-session and its impact on the work of the Committee, setting an unacceptable precedent.
The cancellation of the pre-session on top of the announcement in January of the cancellation of hybrid
arrangements for UN human rights bodies and mechanisms, are measures that affect the possibilities
for children and civil society to interact with this Committee and contribute to your work, as well as the
work of the UN human rights system as a whole. It is worrying to see that global trends of shrinking civil
society space are clearly materialising at the UN level.

Nevertheless, we highly welcome the Committee’s efforts to schedule pre-sessional meetings for two
countries during this session, notwithstanding that this will stretch your capacities. We are aware that
this is an exceptional measure in exceptional circumstances.

At a time when the work of the Committee continues to be more crucial than ever amidst the multitude
of crises that disproportionately affect children in the world today, including armed conflicts, climate
change, growing poverty and persisting inequalities, and shrinking civic space, we hope that additional
solutions can be explored with the UN Secretariat and OHCHR to minimise the impact of the pre-session
cancellation and to ensure reduction of the backlog.

We will continue to support the Committee to ensure that it can fully undertake its core activities with
the effective participation of children and civil society, and continue to call on UN Member States to
comply with their financial commitments to the UN by paying their dues in full and without delay.
Strengthening joint efforts to ensure implementation of the Secretary-General’s Guidance Note on Child
Rights Mainstreaming will be key to mobilise the UN system to collectively strengthen and elevate a
shared UN child rights agenda, including through meaningful and effective child participation.

Finally, I we wish to thank those Committee members that have provided feedback in our process to
develop a new Strategic Plan for 2025-2029. We have now just completed a second round of
consultations, based on which we are preparing a final draft of the Strategy for adoption by Child Rights
Connect members at the end of June. Alongside developing a child friendly version of the adopted
Strategy, we will share this with the Committee.

I thank you.

Alex Conte
Executive Director
child rights connect