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Childrens Summit
Conference World Summit for Children (WSC), United Nations, New York,29-30 September 1990
Informal name The Children’s Summit
Number of Governments participating 159, including 71 heads of State or Government
Conference Co-chairmen Brian Mulroney, Canada, and Mussa Traoré, Mali
Organizers The six initiating countries (Canada, Egypt, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, Sweden) with the support of UNICEF and other UN agencies under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General
Principal themes Goals for the year 2000 for children’s health, nutrition, education, and access to safe water and sanitation
NGO presence 45 non-governmental organizations participated in the Summit
Resulting document World Declaration and Plan of Action on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children
Follow-up mechanisms Mid-decade review, with Secretary-General’s progress report presented at the 1996 General Assembly session on the anniversary of the Children's Summit; UN Inter-Agency Task Force (see Annex); the Joint Committee on Health Policy and the Joint Committee on Education; National Programmes of Action for Children within each national Government
Lead UN agency UNICEF

The Children’s Summit

The World Summit for Children (WSC), held at United Nations Headquarters, was an unprecedented gathering of world leaders to promote the well-being of children. The high point of the occasion, held under the auspices of the UN in New York, was the joint signing of a World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and a Plan of Action comprising a detailed set of child-related human development goals for the year 2000. These included targeted reductions in infant and maternal mortality, child malnutrition and illiteracy, as well as targeted increases in access to basic services for health and family planning, education, water and sanitation. Of the 159 Governments represented at the Summit, 73 signed the joint Declaration and Plan of Action on behalf of the world’s children. The total of signatories had risen to 167 countries as of October 1996.

The goals established at the 1990 World Summit for Children have had an extraordinary mobilizing power, generating a high level of commitment on behalf of children around the world, and creating new partnerships between Governments, NGOs, donors, the media, civil society and international organizations in pursuit of a common purpose.

The Children’s Summit also served as an important organizational model for global mobilization, later adapted by the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) and the Social Summit in Copenhagen (1995). Its involvement of world leaders and its establishment of time-bound, measurable goals were pioneering endeavours, helping to mobilize resources and commitment and shape new inititiatives with clear aims and directions.


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© Copyright United Nations 23 May 1997 | Department of Public Information | Revised 23 May 1997