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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Lesson from the Children

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and leader of Australia’s delegation to the 27th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Children, Larry Anthony, has delivered Australia’s Statement.

“We have come a long way since the 1990 World Summit on Children. However, if we are honest, not enough has been achieved for the children of the world.

“The Australian Government is committed to enhancing children’s health and educational outcomes and supporting all families with children. We encourage partnerships between governments, business, communities and families to provide innovative children’s services.

“Our support for children begins with peri-natal services and continues throughout childhood. To give Australian children the best start in life, we provide parenting support, family payments, health services, child care and high quality education.

“Australia can hold its head high, particularly in the area of immunisation. Through direct Government intervention nearly 90 per cent of Australian children are fully immunised.

“One area that we need to concentrate further efforts is in improving the wellbeing of our indigenous children and young people.

“Australia is an active player globally through our aid program. We will continue to aim to improve access to basic health, nutrition and education for children and to ensure our aid helps women and girls to participate fully in economic and social life.

“However, I believe we have a lesson to learn from the children participating in the Special Session. In just two days and with full consensus, 400 children produced an inspirational document on what they see as the way forward.

“In comparison, UN member countries have been negotiating for 18 months on the outcome document “A World Fit for Children”. They found reaching consensus is a great challenge.

“The children lead by example in New York and I am extremely proud of the contribution Australia’s two child representatives have made.

“Emily Simpson and Tim Goodwin have been key contributors to the Australian delegation, especially as active participants in the Children’s Forum,” Mr Anthony said.