The United Nations General Assembly is underway in New York City, but a lot of key figures of the various UN programs are participating remotely due to travel restrictions and health safety measures in place.
So, in her role as a UN Special Envoy for Sustainable Development Goals, Queen Mathilde visited the UN headquarters in Brussels and connected remotely to the assembly.
Her Majesty arrived at the facility where most UN agencies have their main offices in Europe, and met with representatives from such agencies.
During these meetings, on September 23rd 2021, Queen Mathilde asked about the progress the agencies are making in implementing fully the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
She also virtually connected to the UN offices in Liberia, to see first hand how the implementation of the SDGs is practically moving along.
These goals were adopted in a historic UN summit in 2015 and, over the following 15 years, should support the fight against poverty and inequalities and the tackling of climate change.
The SDGs were built on the success of the Millennium development Goals (MDGs), adopted in 2000 to tackle the same issues; thanks to the MDGs, UN agencies were able to tackle the fight against HIV/AIDS, and further the cause of the necessity for every child to receive at least a primary education, all with the final aim of fighting inequalities and poverty.
The main difference is that the Sustainable Development Goals are a call to all governments to act, whereas the MDGs were more focussed on developing countries.
Queen Mathilde has long been engaged on the international stage, especially with the United Nations. After the success of her nomination as Emissary during the International Year of Microcredit (2005), the Secretary General of the UN asked her to become an Advocate of the SDGs because of her previous work in the field and because of her influence on the international stage
Her Majesty is also the Honorary President of UNICEF Belgium, and a WHO Special Representative for Immunization, all topics that were central in this UN General Assembly.