26 June 2012

We welcome the progress made for children at the Rio+20 summit last week, especially the recognition of the vital importance of children in pursuing sustainability.

The summit's aim was to review progress on environmental legislation and look at new ways of integrating growing concerns such as climate change and increased natural hazards into development agendas.

Over the past few months, we've been asking the UK Government to Speak Up For Children at the summit, to ensure that Rio makes the right decisions for children and future generations. 

The Rio outcome document covers a wide range of development concerns. We're particularly encouraged to see: 

  • Recognition that young people should be playing an active part in decision making
  • The summit highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction to successful long-term development, which will be essential to ensure that children can survive and thrive in the face of increased risk
  • Recognition that climate change is not an isolated issue but affects all aspects of development.

"Rio+20 was a key milestone in creating a new framework for development that integrates emerging environmental challenges - like climate change and natural hazards - which are hitting children in the most vulnerable countries hardest", said Jazmin Burgess, UNICEF UK's Climate Change Policy and Research Officer. 

"It was great to see the UK Government engaging with children ahead of the summit to ensure they had a say in important decision making processes. The challenge now is how the promises made at Rio will translate into concrete action to transform children’s lives."

Read UNICEF UK President Lord Paddy Ashdown's post-Rio blog.

Artur Moreno speaks at a side event of the Rio+20 Conference © UNICEF Brazil/2012/Silva
Former youth advocate and current child rights activist Artur Moreno speaks at a side event of the Rio+20 Conference in in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.© UNICEF Brazil/2012/Silva

Related stories