After only four weeks since the submission of Child Rights Connect’s position paper to his Office, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is taking action to start addressing the lack of a system-wide approach to child rights in the UN.   

From the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, Assistant SecretaryGeneral for Strategic Coordination, Mr. Volker Turk, addressed a letter to Child Rights Connect’s President, Maria Herczog. His letter welcomes the position paper of Child Rights Connect and expresses agreement with the analysis that “a holistic child rights perspective must be reinforced across the United Nations system at a global, regional and local level”. To this end, he advised that the SecretaryGeneral has decided to develop a Guidance Note on child rights mainstreaming in the framework of his Call to Action for Human Rights.  

“We are encouraged to read that our paper has triggered formal and constructive discussions at the highest level of the UN and amongst UN agencies”said Alex Conte, Executive Director of Child Rights Connect, “and we are delighted about the SG’s decision”, he continued. “We believe this will send a strong signal from UN leadership and will act as a key tool to support a more systematic inclusion of child rights across the system”, said Conte. 

In response to this unprecedented step, Child Rights Connect has recommended to the Executive Officer of the UNSG that the process of developing the Guidance Note should be seen as an opportunity to collaborate with civil society, including and especially children. Child Rights Connect stands ready to support the inter-agency process by all means, including by engaging the Network, partners and children worldwide so that the tool can have the greatest possible impact on the ground. 

Child Rights Connect also expresses thanks to all those organizations who have signed its position paper and encourages more to join as a way to create global support for the SG’s initiative and for the UN’s forthcoming work on child rights mainstreaming.