The United Nations General Assembly 2014

The United Nations General Assembly 2014 (UNGA). Arguably, one of the most important weeks of the year.  This week, leaders, influencers and change makers from around the globe meet in New York City every year for the United Nations General Assembly. It is a week where presidents, prime ministers, religious leader and monarchs around the world shift their focus globally. 

Now more than ever, the global community must come together to find solutions, be the catalysts for change and continue the momentum toward greater empowerment, education and equality. This week will serve as a reminder of all of the wonderful things that we can accomplish together, if we put our minds to it and draw attention to the things that do not normally get the attention they deserve. Childhood USA is committed, as we will always be, to help bring attention to the vital importance of children’s rights, protection and empowerment and lay the foundation for onward global priority and renewed importance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This week however, Childhood USA is doing something a little different... Partnering with our friends at Global Citizen, they and many other tremendous partners are hosting the Global Citizen’s Festival in New York’s beautiful central park. This coming Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people and millions around the globe will be watching the live stream as megawatt artists Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood and The Roots (to name a few!) and other influencers across the global NGO community perform. Together with GC, we are united in the call to action and causes in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Quite simply put, this is our time and this is our movement. 

Relying on the power of Social Media and Social Movements, The Global Citizen Festival draws it strength on its users. Users spread the messages on poverty reduction, gender equality, and the importance of active involvement in civil society, government and policy making, by sharing with friends on social media, tweeting, blogging and through Facebook. This multi-pronged approach not only gets people clicking, reading and viewing but allows us to truly see that to combat these complex and multifaceted issues, we need to find and employ different approaches. The Digital and Social Media sphere is allowing millions around the globe the perfect opportunity to have their voices heard, their causes in the spotlight and engage in global conversation.

Millions of children suffer around the world from neglect, abuse and exploitation. Far too often statistics overlook them, and domestic and international policies are too slow and ineffective to address them. Investing in children is the surest way to safeguard the future, reduce poverty, lessen vulnerability and allow for children and youths to reach their potential. Investing and prioritizing children is absolutely integral to development at the micro and macro levels in all sectors of society and sustainable development; it is a multi-generational step and benefit that everyone should fervently support. 

We stand behind that "children can be a major drivers of sustainable development, children have the most to gain and the most to lose from success or failure of sustainable development measures, and children can and should be major participants in and contributors to a healthy, sustainable planet”. Through our work during the United Nations General Assembly and at the Global Citizen’s Festival, we can help create a focal point from which governments, NGOs and the public can make the neccessary strides to combat these issues and create and implement impactful change. 

We cannot do it alone. But we absolutely can when we work together and if there is no other message that you take away from the General Assembly and the Global Citizen's Festival, please take away this message: Together, we can achieve anything.

We work and dedicate our lives toward bringing about a world where every child is treated with dignity, respect and enjoys a safe, secure and happy childhood. And if we work together, this world is within our reach.

To follow along please keep an eye on the Childhood USA Twitter Page, Facebook Page and the official hashtags we will be using this week: #UNGA, #UNGA2014, #ChildhoodUSA #GlobalCitizenFestival

Ashlee Thomas