UNGASS ON CHILDREN, 8-10 MAY 2002

NOTES ON THE ROUND TABLES

10 January 2001
 

BACKGROUND

By its resolution 55/276 and 56/222, the General Assembly decided that its Special Session on Children will include three interactive round table sessions, as follows:

Round table 1: Wednesday 8 May 2002, from 3 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Round table 2: Thursday 9 May 2002, from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Round table 3: Friday 10 May 2002, from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

- the round tables will have as overarching theme “Renewal of commitment and future action for children in the next decade”.

- The Heads of State or Government of the following countries have been elected as co-chairs: Canada, Guatemala, Mongolia, Zambia and Romania. The sixth co-chair will be the President of the Republic of Korea in accordance with the resolution.
 

After consultations with Chairs of the five Regional Groups and with the Delegations representing the six co-chairs of the roundtables, the pairing of co-chairs is confirmed as below:

Round table 1
H.E. Mr. Nambar Enkhbayar, Prime Minister of Mongolia
H.E. Mr. Ion Iliescu, President of Romania

Round table 2
H.E. Mr. Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada
H.E. Mr. Alfonso Portillo, President of the Republic of Guatemala

Round table 3
H.E. Mr. Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea
H.E. Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia

A coordination mechanism channel has been put in place comprising the missions of these countries, the office of the President of the General Assembly, the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee, the UN secretariat and UNICEF as substantive secretariat.

 

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRACTICAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ROUND TABLES

In preparing the round tables these general recommendations for the practical arrangements and organisational aspects of the round tables will be considered as guidelines. These recommendations take into account the experience gained in round tables previously held by the General Assembly and they are aimed at ensuring proper implementation of the abovementioned resolution.
 

1. It would be desirable to have a common understanding of the practical arrangements and division of tasks between the co-chairs. For this reason it is suggested that the co-chairs alternate in taking the lead in conducting the discussions. One of the co-chairs could open (opening remarks) the discussion and introduce the other co-chair, who would then make his opening remarks and introduce the child representatives.  The other co-chair could close (closing remarks) the round table discussion.

2. The report of the Secretary General ‘We the children’, and the Report of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children should be the background documents for the discussions.  The co-chairs may want to recommend to the participants of their round table to use these reports as the basis for their contribution. In addition to facilitate the discussion the substantive Secretariat (UNICEF) has been requested to provide a short summary of the above documents for participants in each round table.  These notes would offer information on different aspects of the overarching theme as a reference for participants in preparing for an interactive discussion at the round tables. The substantive Secretariat (UNICEF) will also prepare questions that may be used to stimulate discussion by the co-chairs as needed.

3. As decided by the general Assembly resolution, each round table will start with an introductory address by two national child delegates.  As their role will be to kick off the debate, each of them could be asked to focus on one of the following six themes from the outcome document: 1) promoting healthy lives, 2) providing quality education, 3) protecting against exploitation/violence/abuse, 4) HIV/AIDS, and as cross-cutting issues, 5) poverty and resource mobilization, and 6) partnerships. The co-chairs may wish to guide the discussion towards one or more of the abovementioned main themes, without changing the overall focus of the round table.

4. The co-chairs could then open the floor to all participants. There will be no pre-established list of speakers. Given the time available, interventions should be limited to 3 minutes. The round tables should be as interactive as possible. To this effect, written interventions are discouraged and participants are invited to address the overarching theme by making reference to interventions by previous speakers in the round table. Extended bilateral dialogue should be avoided.

5. There will be one summary per round table discussions prepared by the co-chairs, and the summaries will be presented in a manner to be agreed between the co-chairs, orally to the concluding plenary meeting of the special session.

6. The Secretariat will provide support to the co-chairs by assisting them in the preparation of their oral reports; support would also be provided, as required, to assist the co-chairs' press briefings after each round table.
 
 
 

PARTICIPATION OF CHILD DELEGATES IN THE ROUND TABLES

With reference to paragraph 8 of the Annex of General Assembly resolution 55/276 of 22 June 2001, by which the General Assembly decides that two children will participate in each round table to present a brief introductory statement, the President of the General Assembly was requested to choose these child delegates, taking into account equitable gender and geographic representation. In the process of consultation with the co-chairpersons of each round table and Member States for the selection of six child delegates, the Office of the President of the General Assembly has taken into account the following detailed criteria:

- geographical representation/languages;
- gender balance;
- under the age of 18 as of the date of 19 September 2001 (balance within this age group, e.g. 11-14/15-17);
- a child should have been actively involved, or participated in the preparatory process at national and/or regional/ international level;
- a child may have experience or expertise on one of the topics of the special session
- it would be an advantage, if a child has previously demonstrated some confidence to address a formal meeting and a large audience.
 

After an extensive consultation with the co-chairpersons of each round table and Member States on the 20 candidates received from regional groups, the President of the General Assembly made a selection of six child delegates, the contents of which were duly informed to Member States on 7 September 2001.

Based on further consultation with the co-chairpersons of each round table and Member States regarding the allocation of two child delegates for each round table, and taking into consideration the same criteria as mentioned above, the President of the General Assembly would like to propose the final arrangements for participation of child delegates in the round tables as follows:

Round Table 1
Ms. Caroline Barebwoha, Republic of Uganda
Mr. Tekerei Moka, New Zealand

Round Table 2
Ms. Marie Claire Umuhoza, Rwandese Republic
Mr. Mohammed Arif Hossen, People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Round Table 3
Ms. Sara Mandic, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Mr. Ngenfap Yang, Republic of Suriname