Throughout its 70-year history, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has been a site of global vision and transformational progress. Recent UNGAs helmed the launches of the Global Education First Initiative (2012), the HeforShe campaign (2014), and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2015).
The 71st session of UNGA is an essential opportunity to ensure the realisation of the promise that no one is left behind
This year’s UNGA presents a tremendous opportunity for a resounding and universal push towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) promise of leaving no one behind – particularly girls, who are among the most marginalised populations. Accelerated solutions are absolutely critical to ensure girls’ rights are realised and we have no time to lose.
The incoming President of the UN General Assembly, Fiji’s Peter Thomson, emphasised* that implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be the “high purpose” of the 71st session. And as Plan International has advocated, it is a purpose that cannot be met without promoting the rights and empowerment of girls.
Plan International at the General Assembly
During UNGA High-Level week and its associated side-events and meetings, Plan International will be in attendance to ensure that the unique needs of girls, and their voices, are woven into key debates and discussions. Our delegates will promote Plan International’s recently announced partnership with leading rights, development, and private sector organisations to launch a new data tracker and advocacy tool to monitor the progress on gender targets in the SDGs. The aim of this initiative is to provide evidence, insights and recommendations to ensure that decision-makers are held accountable for the commitments they have made to girls in the SDGs.
Join the global movement for girls' rights An essential need for gender-sensitive data is reflected in the UNGA agenda, with several events that focus on the ways data can drive sustainable development and solve public interest problems. We can’t improve what we can’t measure, and millions of girls remain invisible to governments and policy makers because they are not being counted. At the UNGA, Plan International will highlight the role which civil society can play in partnering with international stakeholders to achieve better data for girls.
Real Choices, Real Lives
During UNGA, we are hosting a soft-launch of research funded by the UK government's Department for International Development entitled Real Choices, Real Lives: Ten Years On. The research provides 10 years’ worth of data on a cohort of girls across nine countries –– since their births in 2006. The launch aims to provide an effective platform for discussion using the real lived experiences of girls to explore innovative solutions to support girls to reach their full potential within the SDG framework.
Plan International will also co-sponsor The Global Strategy: Ensuring Equity for our Adolescents with NCD Child, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Every Woman, Every Child initiative. The event will hear perspectives from young people, including Plan International youth delegates, on current gaps and tactics in addressing youth health needs, and will be an opportunity to discuss concrete approaches to collectively advance adolescent health priorities.
Girl refugees and migrants
This year’s UNGA includes a one-day summit on refugees and migrants, scheduled for the day before the general debate, with the aim of uniting countries in a humane, coordinated approach. This is a crucial opportunity for UN Member States to agree to robust commitments that will scale up the existing response to migrant and refugee populations. It also represents a chance for leaders of the global community to recognise the specific difficulties faced by girl migrants and refugees, which includes sexual violence, child marriage, and human trafficking. Plan International will be advocating strongly for these girls’ rights at the UNGA.
Delivering for girls
The 71st session of UNGA is an essential opportunity to ensure the realisation of the promise that no one is left behind. Plan International promotes the rights and needs of girls because the universal achievement of girls’ rights and gender equality requires it, and the success of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda demands it.
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