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Children are the Center of Sustainable Development
Children's needs and rights are interdependent to sustainable development. This is the central argument for a new report from UNICEF, "Sustainable Development Starts and Ends With Safe, Healthy, and Well-Educated Children," which makes the case for purposefully considering children in the post-2015 development agenda in which sustainable development is a core tenet.
Divided into three parts, the report first provides the context: how and why children are central to the concept, principles and future progress of sustainable development, and why sustainable development is essential for children and their future. The second part conveys three key messages for those involved in deciding upon the Post-2015 Development agenda. Subsequently, the third and final part of the report provides supporting evidence and recommendations on how children's rights and well-being can be integrated within future development goals.
The three key messages that the report highlights for decision-makers to actively consider are:
1. Sustainable Development starts with safe, healthy, and well-educated children
2. Safe and sustainable societies are, in turn, essential for children
3. Children's voices, choices, and participation are critical for the sustainable future we want.
Sustainable development is an integrated approach that considers the complex societal, economic, environmental, and governance challenges that directly impact the lives of the world's children. According to the report, which is described as a "call to action," the Post-2015 Development Agenda is a unique opportunity to aspire to a world truly "fit for children."
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