Continuing her working visit to the United States alongside His Majesty King Abdullah II and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Rania participated in an event at the Lincoln Center yesterday that was aimed at accelerating global development agenda. The event called “Goalkeepers” was hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to encourage young leaders to expedite the process of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Her Majesty took to the stage to speak to the 250 people in the audience about the launch of the Voyager I space probe which took place 40 years ago. The Queen then asked the audience to consider how far we have come in those four decades “right here on Earth.”
Queen Rania went on to speak about the changes in the world that have occurred in the 40 years since the launch and the challenges we still face. She said, “We still confront age-old challenges like poverty, inequality, and disease.
“We’re dealing with newer challenges too – from melting glaciers and burning forests, to innocent refugee and migrant children dying at sea or in the back of trucks.”
You can be the generation that takes us from ‘we can’ to ‘we did’.
Speaking about the challenges we face even though the world has grown closer together, Her Majesty talked about the tension that this growth can cause, “Too often, bias and bigotry are occupying our streets and our screens. As our world opens up, we see hearts closing down.
“But your generation is determined to make a difference, despite our differences; to work together, instead of simply tweeting past one another.”
In her speech, the Queen also touched on the youth of the world’s innovation and creativity. She also urged the audience to choose compassion and courage over “panic and prejudice and hope over hatred.”
She then told the younger generation, “You can be the generation that takes us from ‘we can’ to ‘we did’.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with Project Everyone for the event to invite “leaders from business, civil society, media, technology, academia and government to explore ways to achieve the SDGs adopted by the United Nations in 2015,” the Office of Her Majesty explained.
Other attendees included former President of the United States, Barack Obama, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Queen just awarded Trudeau the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award on Tuesday evening.
Since 2012, Queen Rania has been part of a high-level advisory panel on the development of the SDGs agenda; this aims to eliminate poverty, ensure the protection of Earth and for all people by the year 2030.
This afternoon, her son, Crown Prince Hussein on behalf of his father and Jordan with address the United Nations General Assembly.