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This year we have seen the brave young girl Greta Thunberg take the centre of the world stage.
Challenging leaders to act and take responsibility for the present, and the coming generation's future.
Millions of young people around the globe are joining in and supporting this unambiguous message.
Our children and grandchildren are stepping up.
As we are celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child – the CRC - and its 30th anniversary this is a moment to reflect on how the lives of millions of children have improved these last three decades.
More children are attending school and being educated. More children are participating and having a say in matters that affect their lives and future.
We are taking steps in the right direction when it comes to equality and combatting various forms of discrimination.
Young people are engaging and being part of finding solutions to the challenges of our time.
At the same time we must all commit further, to make sure that we leave no child behind.
Children's rights are violated every day in all parts of the world. Realizing every child's right to freedom from violence is fundamental.
The Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children reminded us this summer in her keynote speech at the High-Level Political Forum that every year the staggering number of 1 billion children, which is half of the world's children, experience violence.
CRC is the most widely ratified human rights instrument globally. The Nordic-Baltic Countries are proud to have made the general principles, rights and obligations of the CRC a part of our legislation.
At the same time, we still have important challenges to give children the protection they are entitled too.
For example, to prevent violence against children and child-poverty. Our aim is that all children – regardless of their gender - shall have a safe and secure childhood.
Committing to the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development is our roadmap to achieve a better future. Ten more years to reach our goals is a reminder for all of us to step up and prioritize.
Education is a vital priority for all the Nordic and Baltic countries.
To make sure we reach the most marginalized groups we emphasize girl's education and support, inclusive education focusing on children with disabilities.
Education also raises children’s chances of being able to work their way out of poverty in the future and improve their quality of life.
Norway as well as Denmark are increasing our support of Education Cannot Wait. A global fund and partnership dedicated to delivering quality education to children and young people in areas affected by crisis and conflict.
This year’s General Assembly resolution on Rights of the Child focuses on the most vulnerable children - Children without parental care.
As pointed out in the report from the Secretary-General on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, comprehensive and reliable data on children without parental care is largely unavailable.
There is a growing recognition of both the problem and the harmful impact it has.
The reasons for children being without parental care are numerous. Families are separated by many different causes inter alia through natural disasters, migration and armed conflicts.
It is important to note that girls living in countries affected by conflict, are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys.
This year we also celebrate 25 years since we all agreed on the ground breaking program of action at the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo.
There is still a way to go.
Too many girls are kept out of school and forced into marriage.
Women and girls in every country of the world are victims of violence, abuse and sexual harassment.
Compared to their male peers, girls are facing more online threats of sexual violence.
Men and boys need to be engaged to achieve the basic human rights of gender equality.
Young people need comprehensive sexuality education to be able to make knowledgeable decisions about their lives.
The access of women and girls to sexual and reproductive health and rights is a prerequisite for sustainable development.
Implementing the International Conference on Population and Development (the ICPD) programme of action is of great importance to achieve Agenda 2030.
It is also of great importance for achieving fundamental human rights for boys and girls everywhere.
Children have a right to be heard and be involved in decisions that affect them.
They will inherit the challenges and problems that remain unsolved from the current generation. We therefore need more Greta Thunberg’s and child human rights defenders to uphold and strengthen the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.