On Friday Queen Mathilde opened the closing conference “Samen praten over de VN” (Talking About the UN) in her role as special advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. The conference was organised on the Day of the United Nations in Belgium.
Queen Mathilde opened the final special session of the conference as she gave a speech. Her Majesty spoke both in French and Dutch. The Queen enthusiastically to the children as she started her speech with the words: “Today I’m here to listen to you. After all, you have an important and active involvement in drawing out our development plans. I would like to know how you want to work for the big project of the coming years: sustainable development. As the United Nations Special Advocate for Sustainable Development – the so-called SDGs – I increasingly realize that young people need to be closely involved in this big challenge.” The Queen also encouraged the children when she said: “Your voice and your efforts are crucial. They deserve to be heard and encouraged.”
The conference was attended by more than 120 children from four different Flemish and Walloon schools. The purpose of the meeting was to make students aware of the United Nations missions and priorities as well as the role that Belgium plays within the UN. There was also special attention for the role that youth plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Queen Mathilde is one of the special advocates for the SDG’s of the UN. Both the SDG’s and immigration form the central theme of the “Together” campaign of this year’s Day of the United Nations. The meeting was organised by the Ministery of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in cooperation with the UN desk in Brussels.
Queen Mathilde also took the time to take a group picture with the 120 children of the conference. She listened to what the children had to say during the session and took some time to talk with some of the children individually. After saying goodbye to Didier Reynders, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Majesty was just in time to pick up her children from school.