At the end of 2023, Child Rights Connect and Terre des Hommes International sent a written submission for the Zero Draft for the Pact and the Summit of the Future.  

The Pact for the Future is an action-oriented outcome document helping to achieve the two main goals of the Summit of the Future: to accelerate efforts to meet our existing international commitments and to take concrete steps to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities. Please take a look at our Summit of the Future dedicated webpage here.  

The call for submissions invited all Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGoS), other civil society networks and organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia to reflect on the scope of the Pact for the Future.  Our written submissions came in addition to a virtual consultation with all relevant stakeholders on the 13th of December who delivered a statement calling for the Pact for the Future to explicitly mention children and their rights.  

Here are some of the main elements request by Child Rights Connect and Terre des Hommes International to be included in the draft:   

  • Chapeau 

Following the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is fundamental that in the Pact for the Future is informed by children’s views, in particular the report “Children’s vision for human rights” . We recommend that a child rights perspective is  added into all discussions and decisions, including on climate crisis, peace and security, digital compact and future generations. Moreover, to ensure a UN system that delivers on the promise of Leaving No one Behind, the Chapeau of the Pact for the Future should make explicit reference to ‘children’, all persons under 18, as a group of distinct rights holders under international law.  

  • Chapter I. Sustainable development and financing for development 

We remind that sustainable development is impossible without the realization of human rights. Hence, General Comment No.26 on “children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change” should inform Chapter I and highlight how children are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.  

  • Chapter II. International peace and security  

Chapter II should recognize children as peacebuilders, human rights defenders, and key agents of change, not solely as vulnerable victims. 

  • Chapter III. Science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation 

The principles elaborated in General Comment No.25 about “Children’s rights in relation to the digital environment” (2021) should be reaffirmed in Chapter III. Moreover, a child-rights approach should be adopted as science and technological advancements serve the realization of children’s rights and development. 

  • Chapter IV. Youth and future generations 

Children need to be mentioned more systematically throughout the Pact for the Future to ensure that they are not an afterthought, but central stakeholders in achieving a common vision for the future. Therefore, we recommend for the word “children” to be added to the title of Chapter IV: “Youth, children and future generations”.  

  • Chapter V. Transforming global governance 

Finally, for children to be recognized as partners in finding solutions to the common challenges facing humanity today, chapter V should encourage the development of a UN-wide strategy to fully implement children’s rights, developed with the participation of children in all their diversity.  


You can find the full written submission here


Next steps towards the Summit and Pact for the Future include the upcoming United Nations Civil Society Conference, 9-11 May in Nairobi, Kenya. You can find more details about this Conference and the preparations for the Summit of the Future here. 

If you have any questions or comments about the document, please contact the focal points: