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Thursday, June 14, 2001

Queen addresses UN General Assembly Special Session for Children

Queen Rania underscores importance of renewed global commitment to children

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - NEW YORK) On a two-day working visit to the United States, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah underscored the importance of a renewed global commitment to children based on a realistic assessment of past efforts for children's rights and well-being.

Addressing the third preparatory meeting for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session for Children in New York, Queen Rania called for building future efforts on the lessons of the past.

"Like children and adolescents, our efforts can only mature into effective adulthood by building on the cumulative lessons of youth. Now is the time to undertake a rigorous assessment of our movement's strengths and weaknesses to date, of its achievements and failures… So that when we set new targets and pledge renewed commitments, we do so on a rock-solid foundation of proven capabilities and realistic goals," Queen Rania said at the meeting.

Speaking as a member of the UNICEF Global Leadership Initiative, Queen Rania characterized global results since the 1990 World Summit for Children as "mixed." While few of the global goals set at the 1990 World Summit for Children have been fully achieved, countries have indeed realized significant progress on individual goals, Queen Rania told an audience of government officials, non-governmental organizations, and youth representatives.

Basing her remarks on experiences in Jordan and the Middle East, as well as on global trends, Queen Rania highlighted five key issues required for effective assessment of previous efforts: the impact and value of global action; the impact of participation by heads of state and government; the power of effective partnerships; the power of partnerships with the worldwide commercial marketplace; and the existence of disparities.

Underscoring the power of partnerships with the worldwide commercial marketplace, the Queen highlighted several global successes achieved largely because of significant linkages with the private sector.

"Private companies and multinationals often have greater reach, and more direct impact on families, than do state institutions or international organizations. Can we achieve some of our next priority targets . . . by working more closely with private businesses, for the benefit of all humankind?" Queen Rania told the 600-member audience.

The Third Substantive Session of the Preparatory Committee is the key global activity leading up to the Special Session on Children, to be held in New York during September 19-21, 2001.

Participants at this week's 5-day meeting will consider and comment on the UN Secretary-General's report on the implementation of the 1990 World Declaration and Plan of Action, and on recommendations for future actions.

They will also consider and finalize the revised draft outcome document, entitled "A World Fit for Children," to be formally submitted for adoption by countries at the September Special Session.

The Special Session is an unprecedented meeting of the UN General Assembly dedicated to chil