Queen Rania addresses UN General Assembly Special Session for Children

14 حزيران 2001

(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 children and adolescents, and will serve as a follow-up on the 1990 World Summit for Children in that participating leaders will review the progress made, and put forth a renewed commitment and pledge for specific actions for the coming decade.

Also Wednesday, Queen Rania met with HRH Princess Mariam of Morocco, as well as with Mrs. Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who is currently on a tour of the Middle East.

Queen Rania joined UNICEF's Global Leadership Initiative in November 2000, following an invitation by the Fund's Executive Director Carol Bellamy.

She joins world leaders Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel to spearhead the Global Movement for Children, calling upon all sectors of society to make renewed commitments for children in the coming decade.

H.E. the Minister of Social Development, Tamam Al-Ghoul, heads the Kingdom's official delegation to this week's meeting.

Jordan had also participated in the first Substantive Session in November 2000, and in the second Substantive Session at the end of January/beginning of February 2001.