Although specific targets were not set at Rio +20, it was agreed that a set of sustainable development goals should be drawn up. These objectives would be “action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries.” Last month’s discussions formed part of the process for establishing these goals by looking at the place of children in the development agenda.
In her talk, Sofia stressed the need to prioritise the social, emotional and cognitive requirements of children, especially those without parental care. This is vital not only for the children affected, but also to the success of sustainable development more broadly.
“Including indicators and targets for children on the goals for areas such as health, social protection, education and nutrition are fundamental for the success and sustainability of the new development policies,” she said.
SOS Children’s experience crucial, says UNICEF
Backing Sofia’s sentiments, UNICEF’s Senior Advisor on post-2015, Richard Morgan, said that the next few months would prove to be a critical moment for children’s rights. While progress so far has been patchy, refocusing development on children could allow the benefits to be spread more evenly.
Mr Morgan also singled out the importance of SOS Children’s experience as an international children’s charity in helping to build a better understanding of the needs of children globally. With this in mind, SOS Children could help establish a broader, more “holistic” approach to ensuring children’s rights.
The way forward
Overall, talks emphasised the need for an increased focus on vulnerable and marginalised children. The discussion also resulted in consensus concerning the importance of jobs for the security and future prosperity of children, and particularly for families at risk.
Thanks to the input of the Major Group for Children and charities and organisations such as SOS Children who support it, UN Member States are becoming increasingly aware of the need to prioritise the welfare of children for the benefit of every single one of us in the years ahead.