Queen Rania urges global community to refocus on MDGs

September 26, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – New York) Speaking at a United Nations Foundation’s event in New York, Wednesday, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah urged world leaders and the global community to refocus their commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline.

Queen Rania highlighted many of the world’s achievements, attributing much of the recent success to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but also noted that much remains to be done. “We measure our progress in the smiles of children surviving preventable disease, in the relief of parents being treated for AIDS, in the pride of girls learning to read,” she said, “But as the Secretary General understands, we must measure our shortcomings, too – in the tears of mothers who bury their newborns, in the swollen bellies of starving toddlers, in the pain of families forced to choose between medicine or a meal.” In 2000, the United Nations adopted eight goals to be met by all the world's countries by 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability and creating global partnerships for development. Much of the focus at Wednesday’s UNF event was mobilizing the attendees, including hundreds of high profile heads of UN agencies and heads of corps and nonprofits who are working on MDGs, to step up the international efforts. The Secretary General thanked the Queen for “that very kind introduction and for all that you are doing for the children of the world.” “Already we have seen major successes in this campaign. It shows what we have to do to succeed. Coordinate our agencies. Get support from important countries. Create new partnerships with the private sector and civil society. Reach out to individuals. Bring in other leaders. And go to the press with a clear message,” he said as he outlined action plans for each type of attendee. Queen Rania is in New York to highlight the importance of universal access to quality education during the opening week of the United Nations’ General Assembly.