Early Childhood Development: Pathways to Sustainable Peace | ECPC UNGA-78 High-level Session (28 Sept 2023)

78th Session of the United Nations (UNGA-78)


UN Secretariat, NYC— On 28 September 2023 at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, ECPC global experts and a high-level panel of world leaders demonstrated to a full-house of attending mission states and members of civil society, the evidence-based science and practice that underscores the vital importance of investing in Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs and services as viable pathways to sustainable peace.

A celebratory reception at UNICEF House followed, which featured the world premier of the ECPC song of hope "Seeds of Peace", performed by ECPC Co-founder and former Yale Whiffenpoof Dr. Kyle D. Pruett, and the celebrated Yale Music in Schools Initiative All-City Children's Choir.

► Read the Concept Note

► Read the ECPC High-Level Session Program Brochure with speaker biographies.

► Learn more about the ECPC UNGA-78 High-Level Session.

► Watch the four-part ECPC UNGAS-78 video seriesgenerated to capture and globally share these ECPC high-level achievements. 

The ECPC extends much gratitude to the Permanent Missions of Ireland, Colombia, and Chile to the United Nations that co-sponsored this UNGA-78 high-level session.

Program | ECPC UNGA-78 High-Level Session "Early Childhood Development: Pathways to Sustainable Peace"

Master of Ceremonies 

► Mr. Mark Feeney—Representing Early Years, the organization for young children (Northern Ireland)

Opening Remarks “Heralding a New Era for a Culture of Peace”

► Rima Salah, PhD—Chairperson, Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC)


Research—“What Science Says: Overview of ECPCs Early Childhood and Peacebuilding Research and Practice”

Policy and Advocacy—“Policy Briefing: Why Early Childhood Development is a Promise for Peace”

Practice—“Foundations for a Peaceful World”

  • Joshua Feder, MD—Medical Director at Positive Development 
  • Ali Shaar, MD —Director of the Palestinian Child Institute, An-Najah National University; Member, ECPC Advisory Board
    • Coming soon! New volume! “Foundations for a Peaceful World: The Transformative Power of Early Childhood Education to Promote Peace and Social Cohesion”

Panel Discussion “Lessons Learned: Key messages and Points of Action”

  • Catherine Panter-Brick, PhD (Facilitator)—Bruce A. and Davi-Ellen Chabner Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs (Anthropology, Jackson School of Global Affairs); Member ECPC Research Division


  • H.E. Ambassador Fergal Mythen—Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. René Ruidiaz Pérez—Deputy Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations
  • H.E. Ambassador Arlene Tickner—Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations
  • Dr. Najat Maalla M’Jid—Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children; Member, ECPC Executive Committee
  • Ms. Gina McIntyre—CEO Special European Union Programmes Body
  • Sherrie Westin—President, Sesame Workshop; Member, ECPC Advisory Board

Video Presentation “Ahlan Simsim” by Sesame Street 

Call to Action

  • Siobhán Fitzpatrick, CBE—Director International Network on Peace Building for Young Children (INPB); Regional Vice Co-chairperson for the Early Childd Peace Consortium (ECPC); Chairperson, ECPC Programmatic Division

We, the members of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, ask for support from Member States to:

  1. Secure a UN Resolution on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Peacebuilding to promote peace, social cohesion, and social justice. 
  2. Share knowledge from the research and programmatic evidence and successful peacebuilding initiatives globally that link early childhood development and peacebuilding agendas. The ECPC is a technical ally and strong advocate to support UN member state champions for young children.    
  3. Call for greater inclusion and focus on young children and their families in the ambitious New Agenda for Peace and Our Common Agenda Framework.  
  4. Accelerate the achievement of SDG Goals 3, 4, 5 and 16 by promoting, investing, and operationalising public policy reforms and universal access to services that contribute to peacebuilding and the reduction of violence, starting with young children and their families. 
  5. Call on the international community for their unwavering commitment to and strong partnerships for implementing and scaling up ECD services that foster a Culture of Peace, learning from and leveraging the expertise and experience of countries and networks like the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC) and the International Network on Peace Building for Young Children (INPB).

Overview and Prelude “Seeds of Peace”  

  • Erinna Dia, PhD—Associate Director and Early Childhood Development Global Lead, UNICEF

Summary: "What the Evidence Says"

  • Hiro Yoshikawa, PhD—Co-Director Global Ties for Children, New York University; Member ECPC Research Division


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