Investing in children: An accelerator for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (SRSGVAC) reached out to all 38 Member States – and one regional organization – that presented Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2023 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) to offer support to their reporting processes. This was followed by briefings, where appropriate, to the United Nations Resident Coordinators and Country Teams, as well as UN regional offices.

The SRSG-VAC encouraged the UN system to support a participatory national VNR process and follow-up, using the One UN approach, in line with the Call to Action for Human Rights and Our Common Agenda. She also stressed the interlinkages across the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing the importance of increased investment in children, and outlined how such investment could be highlighted in the VNR process, the periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.

The SRSG-VAC also participated in regional and national policy dialogues, jointly hosted activities at the high-level moments of the HLPF and the General Assembly, and joined VNR preparation processes in addition to her country visits.

The Office of the SRSG-VAC undertook a thorough reading of the 2023 VNRs, as well as live presentations during the 2023 HLPF, using a child- and gender-sensitive protection lens. This brief explores how investment in a holistic approach to the SDGs can contribute to the prevention of – and response to – violence against children, illustrated with examples from the 2023 VNRs.

These examples are not exhaustive, but they highlight promising practices with the aim of encouraging Member States to enhance overall investment in children and their well-being. The brief also shares other examples that have impressed the SRSG-VAC during her engagements with various stakeholders.

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