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Monday, September 20, 2010

Queen Rania speaks at the MDG summit in New York

Because education doesn’t just beat poverty. It beats disease. It beats inequality.

Thank you Owain...

400 million live viewers;

220,000 visitors;

145 goals scored;

64 matches;

32 teams;

9 cities;

6 continents;

1 cup;

1 winner;

1GOAL... Education for All.

In the last twelve months, 18 million people signed their name to demand every child go to school.

18 million people… from across geographical and political boundaries, religious and social backgrounds.

18 million people… appalled how nearly 70 million children will never experience their first day of school, never have homework, never get a shot at that A grade.

18 million people… who believe that at the heart of all human rights is the idea that humans have value as well as values, regardless of where they are born… that we are all worthy of dignity and respect.

These 18 million people aren’t anonymous. We know their names.

And I’m proud to say that mine is one of them.

Together, our names stand for the rights of every child to go to school… our names demand that global leaders keep their commitments.

Because that’s what this moment is about. Not this panel. Not 1GOAL.

This is about you: the experts, policy makers, and politicians – the men and women who represent us and shape our collective future.
This is about you laying the foundations of our future on quality education for all.

Because education doesn’t just beat poverty. It beats disease. It beats inequality.

And for girls, education is nothing less than a life saver, from stigmatism, insecurity, and violence.

It’s the issue that cuts across all others: hunger and health, stability and equality.

It’s the issue that can restore justice, social and economic.

It’s the issue of our generation.
And it costs only $16 billion a year to put every child in low income countries into school. That’s it.

To spark one of the most radical transformations of the human race… an act that would bring untold and uncountable benefits for decades to come, costs less than a tax rebate for Wall Street this year.

Yet, summit after summit, we fail to justify our lack of progress.  We fail to persuade our leaders to champion our principles.

Just look at comparisons between individual charity and government aid:

The American people donate ten times more to charity than their own government gives in aid. In fact, American citizens give more than twice as much to charity as the top 17 developed countries put together give in foreign aid! 

In short: values, like generosity, so integral to our daily lives, are not reflected in our governments’ policies.

How can we continue to ignore the will of millions? How can we turn our backs on the principles that define us? How can we abandon the out-of-school children who depend on us?

We can’t. And we won’t.

Because, in this renewed spirit of the age, I have 1GOAL: to advocate that every child receives a quality education.

Because you have 1GOAL: to demand every child goes to school.

Because we have 1GOAL: to give children, with no voice and no hope, the chance to realise their 1GOAL: to go to school.

Thank you.