SRSG-VAC welcomes 2018 High-level Political Forum Ministerial Declaration

23 July 2018 - New York:  SRSG-VAC Marta Santos Pais welcomed the Ministerial Declaration of the 2018 high-level political forum on sustainable development. One of the key components of the Declaration states, “We are committed to a world that invests in its children and youth and in which every child grows up free from all forms of violence and exploitation.

“The Ministerial Declaration reaffirms commitment to effectively implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for all people everywhere, ensuring that no one is left behind,” said Santos Pais. “The Declaration not only addresses the critical issue of ending violence against children, but also a broad range of issues including poverty eradication, gender equality, climate change, access to water, and urbanization, amongst others.”

The Ministerial Declaration expressed strong commitment to placing children at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. It recognized that developing the human capital required to build sustainable and resilient societies begins by investing in children, adolescents and youth, to ensure they grow up free from all forms of violence. And, it emphasized the importance of ensuring meaningful participation by children, particularly the most vulnerable, as critical agents of change in the 2030 Agenda’s implementation.

“The 2030 Agenda is people-centred, universal and transformative and recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and are based on respect for human rights,” continued SRSG Santos Pais. “I am particularly heartened that the Declaration specifically highlights the need to end all forms of violence against children.” Relevant excerpt from the Declaration include the following:

  • We reaffirm our commitment to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment and harmful practices.
  • Developing the human capital required to build sustainable and resilient societies must begin with investing in children, adolescents and youth, safeguarding their rights and ensuring that from early childhood they grow up in a safe environment, free from all forms of violence, including neglect, abuse and exploitation and through the elimination of all harmful practices.

“The 2030 Agenda has an ambitious vision: by investing in children, we can create the conditions for every child to grow up free from want, fear and violence,” said Santos Pais. “It includes a specific target, 16.2, to end all forms of violence against children. While progress is being made, we must now redouble our efforts to ensure that the vision of the 2030 Agenda is realized and the commitments in the Ministerial Declaration are an important contribution. Together, we can achieve a world of peace for all children. They deserve no less!” 

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