Following the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations in June 2020, the Secretary-General was requested to address both current and future challenges. He responded with a wake-up call, enshrined in his report Our Common Agenda, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. This report requests for a Summit of the Future, to be held in September 2024, to come up with an action-oriented “Pact for the Future”, signed by States from all around the world to commit to a new vision to address emerging challenges, included those posed by new technologies.
The Secretary-General has outlined different tracks to be considered by States in preparation for the Summit of the Future, as ultimately, States will decide the outcome of the Summit. The Secretary-General has also developed Policy Briefs to inform the discussions on the different tracks. These include:
- Future Generations
- Emergency Platform
- Youth Engagement
- Global Digital Compact
- Beyond Gross Domestic Product
- New Agenda for Peace
- Information integrity
- International financial architecture
- Outer space
- Transforming Education
- United Nations 2.0
Child Rights Connect and its members are engaging through multiple tracks to ensure a holistic approach to children’s rights into the discussions and that their fundamental rights to participate into the relevant discussions and decision-making are respected. Here are some of the key highlights so far!
GLOBAL FUTURES FORUM
In order to inform the Summit of the Future, civil society representatives organised the Global Future Forum (GFF) from 20 to 21 March 2023. The GFF came up with a “People’s Pact for the Future” to feed diverse civil society ideas and insights into official discussions on the Pact for the Future.
In preparation for the GFF discussions, Child Rights Connect, its Children’s Advisory Team, and members, in coordination with the #CovidUnder19, contributed to civil society e-consultations and other preparatory meetings for the GFF.
Miriam, our Child Advisor from Lebanon, in collaboration with the #CovidUnder19, presented an intergenerational research paper entitled “Channelling The Changemaking Power of Children to Drive Environmental, Peace, Security, and Digital Policies for the Future” during the GFF.
Through the research paper, children and young people reflected on what future generations-oriented policies are needed now for a positive post-2030 world. After a virtual focus-group discussion, the group decided to focus on environmental governance and peace, security & digital policies.
Through children’s perspectives and contributions, we were happy to be able to influence the conference outcomes and recommendations that have been consolidated in the Interim People’s Pact for the Future. Under the Human Rights & Participation section, recommendation n°2 calls for the inclusion of children and adolescents in the procedures of UN human rights mechanisms, including through child-friendly information. Additionally, we are glad to see that children are a cross-cutting consideration in the report. However, the recommendation to ensure children’s participation and uphold their right to be heard during the Summit of the Future falls short from the asks made by children, youth and civil society during the conference.
Read Miriam’s words on her experience engaging in the GFF!
We have also participated in consultations on the preparatory process of the Summit of the Future led by two States co-facilitating the process, Germany and Namibia.
We have been coordinating closely with the Committee on the Rights of the Child and our child advisors to inform these consultations. On 15 February, Miriam and Mikiko Otani, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, spoke at the first consultation. You can read Mikiko Otani’s statement here.
For more information on past and upcoming consultations, check the roadmap developed by the co-facilitators.
OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROCESS BY CHILD RIGHTS CONNECT AND MEMBERS
We have also contributed to the report from the High-level Advisory Board on Multilateralism set up by the Secretary-General to guide all the tracks and the preparations of the Summit. Thanks to our efforts, the report includes a strong recommendation for the Summit to call for the development of a UN-wide strategy to implement children’s rights. Read more here.
At the Summit of the Future in 2024, milestone decisions will be taken that will impact children’s rights. Thus, we will continue to advocate for the Summit through all the channels possible to ensure a holistic approach to children´s rights, putting child participation at the centre of key decision-making and outcomes.