Queen Rania Speaks at the Global Citizen Festival and Urges for a United Global Family

September 27, 2015

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – New York) "You can show the world that all lives matter", said Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah to more than 60,000 people during her call to action at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York.

Her Majesty joined world leaders and influencers including the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, United States Vice President, Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, First Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, along with activists such as the Chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates, UN Messenger of Peace for Climate Action, Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as actors Katie Holmes and Olivia Wilde, among others, at the Global Citizen Festival in New York, presented by Hugh Jackman and Stephen Colbert, the festival aims to get ordinary people involved in extraordinary causes like extreme poverty and inequality around the world.

Calling for action on the Syrian refugee crisis, alongside Ms. Salma Hayek, Her Majesty urged the audience to show solidarity with those in need.

“For millions, this is their darkest hour. Their time of greatest need. By it’s also your time. You can show the world that all lives matter.”

Her Majesty declared that the global community needs to unite and “extends the hand of humanity to those who are risking their lives in search of peace, safety, and security”. Adding, “We call on leaders to honor their obligations towards refugees and to increase aid to the Syrian crisis.”

The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival established in 2012. The 2015 event was created to mark the establishment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); a list of 17 tasks to end extreme global poverty by the year 2030. 

The 2015 festival, the fourth since it was first held in 2012, was held on Central Park's Great Lawn in New York, and featured performances by international artists including Beyoncé, Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Pearl Jam, and Ed Sheeran, among others.

During the trip, Her Majesty the Queen also attended the UNF and McKinsey & Co co-hosted dinner entitled: Right, Smart, Now: Investing in Girls, Women and Gender Equality. Along with Her Majesty, list of attendees included, Ms. Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of UNF, Secretary Heather Higgenbottom, Deputy Secretary of State, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, Ms. Jennifer Lopez, Actress and Singer, Mr. Hans Vestburg, CEO, Ericsson, Mr. James Manyika, Director, McKinsey Global Institute, Ms. Michelle Sullivan, President, Caterpillar Foundation, and world-renowned journalist Ms. Katie Couric.