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Annual Full-Day Meeting on the Rights of the Child

Human Rights Council 34th session (27 February -24 March 2017)

Annual Full-Day Meeting on the Rights of the Child

Statement of Ireland

6 March 2017

Challenges and opportunities to reinforce children’s rights through the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda

Ireland aligns with the statement of the European Union and adds the following

Mr. President

We welcome the distinguished panellists and this valuable opportunity to discuss the importance of integrating a child rights based approached into our collective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the challenges and opportunities that brings

The statistics regarding children and development are chilling. We know that 18,000 children still die each day from poverty-related causes; that approximately 5.9 million children under 5 are still dying each year of preventable and treatable causes; that 168 million children are engaged in child labour; and that as many as 1 billion children experienced physical, sexual, emotional or multiple types of violence in the past year.  We do not need to know the names and see the faces of these children to understand the imperative to act.

The 2030 Agenda pledges that as we embark on a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, no one will be left behind and the furthest behind will be reached first.

The shared commitment and sense of possibility reflected in adoption of pledge in the 2030 Agenda is clearly apparent in today’s debate too. However we must ensure that the appropriate practical tools are available to capitalise on this shared commitment where it matters – on the ground.

We regard human rights as a fundamental part of the puzzle. Achievement of the right to education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty and addressing inequalities and empowering women and girls.   A human rights based approach in other fields has the potential to open our eyes to the sometimes unintended consequences of national systems and policies.   

To take one example, we note the Technical Guidance on a human rights based approach to policies and programmes to reduce and eliminate preventable mortality and morbidity of children under 5 years of age, which has obvious relevance to target 3.2 as well as more generally across the 2030 Agenda. Production of that Guidance, aimed at practical use in the field, was possible only through the close cooperation of experts from very different fields in OHCHR and WHO. 

We would be interested to hear more from the panellists on ways and means to similarly bring together experts from disparate fields to tackle other targets and goals in the 2030 Agenda.  Other than for example, input by OHCHR to the work of the High Level Political Forum on followup to the 2030 Agenda, how can we break down the silos which still too often keep the human rights, development, humanitarian and other communities from optimum cooperation? Could the mainstreaming panel in this Council be a vehicle for additional practical exchanges? And are there ways in which children’s voices can more effectively be heard as we proceed with implementing the 2030 Agenda?

Thank you