The World Summit for Children was held in 1990, less than a year after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly. The Summit adopted a Declaration and a Plan of Action, which included 27 goals for the survival, development and protection of children and youth.
In the Americas, the World Summit for Children and the Convention acted as catalysts for social transformations directed towards a greater recognition of the rights of the child and a concrete improvement in children's living conditions. The commitments made and the specific targets established, together with the participation of grass-roots organizations, movements of children and young people, women's groups, business and religious leaders and the communications media, were crucial for the achievements recorded throughout the decade.
Responding to the call made at the World Summit, 192 countries have already ratified or signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an unprecedented number of ratifications for an instrument of this kind. Moreover, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has reported periodically to the General Assembly on progress in achieving the summit goals, and submitted a Mid-Decade Review in 1996 (A/51/256).
At the end of the decade, the document Goals for Children and Development in the 1990s was issued, incorporating contributions from the 1994, 1995 and 1996 editions of the ECLAC publication Social panorama of Latin America. In 2000, the vast process of evaluation culminated in the preparation of national reports by over 130 countries.
In May 2002, this special session was held in New York and was an unprecedented meeting of the General Assembly devoted to children and adolescents worldwide. It brought together government leaders and heads of State, non-governmental organizations, children's advocates and young people themselves.
The special session's purpose was to review the progress made since the 1990 World Summit for Children and to renew the international commitment to children's rights. A reference document ennamed We the Children: Meeting the promises of the World Summit for Children, prepared by the United Nations Secretary-General, was used as a basis for discussion, and the outcome document -A world fit for children was adopted.
On 29-30 September 1990 the largest gathering of world leaders in history assembled at the United Nations to attend the World Summit for Children. Led by 71 heads of State and Government and 88 other senior officials, mostly at the ministerial level, the World Summit adopted a Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and a Plan of Action for implementing the Declaration in the 1990s.