Supporting Events at the UN Special Session on Children (as of 4 April 2002) I. Introduction The Bureau of the Preparatory Committee of the UN Special Session on Children has asked UNICEF, the substantive secretariat, to develop a thematic approach for organising supporting events to be held around the time of the Special Session. The purpose of this approach is both substantive and practical: i) To maximise substantive contribution to the realisation of the goals and targets of A World Fit for Children through constituency commitments and sharing of best practices; ii) To group events having similar subject matter so as to promote greater focus and internal logic; and iii) To rationalise the allocation of limited time and space for events in UN meeting rooms. UNICEF has developed the following framework in consultation with the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee, past proposors of events and non-governmental organisations. The content of the framework is very substantially based on agreed upon events planned for last September. II. Categories of Supporting Events There are two main categories of supporting events in this approach, as described below. For a current list of planned supporting events, please see Annex 2. i) Constituency commitments, whereby groups of stakeholders and constituencies, e.g. parliamentarians, religious leaders, corporate leaders, mayors and local authorities, will share specific action plans and strategies contributing to the realisation of agreed goals and targets to complement actions by governments. ii) Best practices that are valid and useful in a variety of contexts globally, and which show how commitments can be translated into action. These events will be organised according to the priority areas of action in A World Fit for Children: 1) promoting healthy lives, 2) providing quality education, 3) protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence, 4) combating HIV/AIDS, and, as cross-cutting issues, 5) promoting partnerships and mobilising resources. III. Logistical Arrangements The secretariat appreciates that events are being organised in as collaborative manner as possible by an appropriate mix of governments, UN agencies and NGOs as principal sponsors or organisers. than otherwise would be the case. This will lead to a better focus and attendance Room allocations are given in 90-minute time slots, but organisers are asked to plan for substantive sessions with a duration of only 75 minutes, to allow for transitions and logistical arrangements between events. All available conference room facilities at the United Nations premises have been allocated for these supporting events and already scheduled official meetings during the period of the Special Session (8-10 May 2002). Member States and organisations wanting to organise any additional events at the United Nations are therefore requested to contact UNICEF before making any firm plans. Additional events may, of course, be planned outside the UN premises, but, regrettably, UNICEF would not be in a position to assist with such arrangements. Besides these supporting events, non-governmental organisations will be coordinating a multitude of supporting events. Given limited conference room facilities and the already large number of official meetings and supporting events, the Special Session does not lend itself to presentations of individual country or organisation's case studies. UNICEF is of the opinion that incorporating country- and agency-sponsored initiatives and best practices into this conceptual framework will maximise overall attention to these initiatives which should increase participation and interest. A set of recommended guidelines for presenters in best practices supporting events is provided in Annex 1. The final list of side events will be published by 15 April 2002. Annex 1: Guidelines for Presenters in Best Practices Supporting Events The objective of these events is to analyse specific experiences, i.e. best practices/case studies of policies, strategies, programmes and projects that have had a positive impact on progress with the theme under review. It is hoped that generic lessons can be extracted from these case studies that will be widely applicable to other countries/organisations interested in making progress with these same themes. Presenters should not describe the content of the best practices. Any descriptions may be provided as handouts to participants. Interested presenters should cover the following items: 1. Progress achieved as independently quantified and evaluated (very briefly); 2. Specific factors that contributed to success that could be widely applicable to other countries/regions, i.e. generic lessons; 3. Any preconditions that helped or hindered progress in implementation; 4. Specific lessons learned during implementation that should be applied to accelerate future progress; 5. Mistakes made that may have hampered progress and which should be avoided/rectified in the future; 6. Any additional advice on lessons learned/recommendations, for example on going to scale; promoting sustainability, etc. Total presentation time should not exceed 10 minutes.