Queen Rania Urges World’s Young Global Leaders to Become Force of Change and ‘Global Progress’

June 27, 2005

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Zermatt) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, on Sunday, called on the world’s young movers and shakers to claim their stake in how the future unfolds, challenging them to become the dynamic engine of change and global progress.

“For all of us here,” Queen Rania said, “the next 15 years have immediate, urgent relevance – in all our roles, as business leaders… politicians… public figures… or perhaps as parents”.

Queen Rania was addressing a group of 238 young leaders who gathered at the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) Inaugural Summit in Zermatt, Switzerland to formulate a vision for the world in 2020.

Speaking during the Awards Ceremony, Queen Rania stressed that YGLs have a moral responsibility and obligation towards the making of the future.

Queen Rania encouraged the Leaders to work together towards the realization of their goals, irrespective of their individual differences, as only then can they achieve what they have set out to do.

“…though you come from around the world, and each have different agendas,” she said, “you’re linked by a shared commitment to make tomorrow better for all.”

“In order to fulfill this commitment, it is imperative that you demand and promote a high level of ethical integrity and social responsibility in all you do,” she added.

During the event, Queen Rania stressed that the reason as to why the Young Global Leaders initiative, spearheaded by the World Economic Forum, is unique is due to the fact that it gathers distinguished individuals from the four corners of the world, regardless of their differences, to engage within one unified platform.

“You are special,” said Queen Rania, “and the vision, drive and determination that have made you successful individuals can be combined to lift the lives of millions around the world,” she continued.

The 2005 YGLs, all aged 40 or younger, represent 68 countries: 71 from Europe, 63 from North America, 49 from Asia, 19 from the Middle East and North Africa, 19 from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 from Latin America.

They include four Heads of State and four future monarchs, 80 CEOs and founder/entrepreneurs and 12 chairpersons. Women make up 30 percent of the group.

Queen Rania urged YGLs to act as a “network that enables collaboration across boundaries of culture and concern.”

“We all share a stake in how the future unfolds – and what each of us does to help shape it”, Queen Rania said.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a newly-formed, unique, multi-stakeholder community of exceptional young leaders, who share a commitment to shaping the global future. Each year, the Forum brings together 200-300 young leaders, selected out of 8,000 candidates, who are currently internationally prominent, to serve for a period of five years, and eventually becoming part of a 1111-member community by the year 2009.

The 238 leading entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, journalists, economists, politicians and NGO representatives who have been selected, launched the 2020 Initiative, during the Annual WEF Meeting in Davos, in January of this year.

The select group of leaders gathered in the Swiss mountain resort under the theme The World in 2020, to draft strategies in workshops and plenary sessions to address the most pressing challenges facing the world today, with a specific focus on five main areas of concern: Poverty, health, environment, education, global governance and security.

The four-day summit will explicitly work on the identification of concrete actions, both short and long-term, to translate the aspired vision. According to the World Economic Forum, the outcomes will feed into WEF’s 2006 Annual Meeting, in Davos.

As the head of the YGL Nomination Committee, and the only Arab member of the World Economic Forum Foundation Board, Queen Rania also encouraged the world’s YGLs to guide the leaders of tomorrow in their quest for success.

She said: “I hope you’ll extend your influence down as well as up – mentoring and coaching the young men and women who want to grow up to be you.”

Among the attendees were His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; His Royal Highness Prince Bandar Bin Khaled Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia and His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Bin Raed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, amongst other leading representatives.

Earlier on Sunday, Queen Rania attended the YGL Foundation Board meeting, chaired by WEF Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab.

The eight-member board, which includes Polish President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Senior Minister of Singapore and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Goh Chok Tong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Novartis, Switzerland, Daniel Vasella, amongst other prominent international representatives, discussed the role of the YGLs in global affairs, and means to involve them in the formulation of policies on the national, regional and international levels. The board also discussed the governance system of the Foundation and the signing of Statutes.

In addition to the board meeting, Queen Rania also attended the feedback session, where 5 YGLs reported back to members of the YGL Foundation Board and the rest of the YGLs on key outcomes and proposed actions discussed during each workshop conducted throughout the past four days.

In its first year, according to the Forum’s 2004-2005 report, “the Forum of Young Global Leaders reached significant achievements in establishing its governance structure, building the first community of Young Global Leaders, engaging them in the 2020 Initiative, structuring their participation in different regional and global events and developing its communications and partnerships strategy”.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum of Young Global Leaders is an independent, non-profit organization, supervised by the Swiss Government and established by Professor Klaus Schwab in 2004. It acts in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum.