Remarks at a Third Committee General Discussion on the Rights of Children

Dylan Lang
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 10, 2022


Thank you, Madam Chair, for taking the time for this important discussion. One thing that unites us all in this room today is that we were all once children. Children and youth today are facing unprecedented challenges: poverty; public health emergencies; conflicts and wars; physical and mental health struggles; climate change; online and offline bullying, harassment, exploitation, and abuse; and so much more.

UNICEF reports that over 149 million children, or nearly one in five, are chronically malnourished, and undernutrition is linked to nearly half of all deaths of children under five. Nutrition is vital to ensure children grow, stay healthy, develop, and learn. The United States recently announced an additional $2.9 billion to the nearly $7 billion in assistance to combat global food insecurity. No child should die of hunger.

The United States continues to stand firm in our conviction that every child should be safe and given the tools necessary to succeed, regardless of race, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics.

Across the globe, LGBTQI+ children are suffering, and often in silence. LGBTQI+ children are at greater risks for homelessness, suicide, depression, anxiety, abuse, and substance use. We must work together to ensure that LGBTQI+ children everywhere are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

Girls around the world face unique challenges due to the intersection of their age and gender. Today, over 11 million girls may never go back to school after the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten million girls are at risk of child, early and forced marriage during the next decade, and an additional two million cases of female genital mutilation/cutting may occur. This requires urgent action.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also created new challenges for many children and youth. As children return to in-person learning, some for the first time in more than two years, it is crucial to ensure they have the support they need. The United States recently announced $300 million in mental health funding for schools so students can receive the care they need.

We must work together as a global community to look after and work with our younger generations to leave them with a world we would all be proud of. There is no time to waste. Thank you.