Queen Rania Takes Part in Goalkeepers Event Aimed at Accelerating Global Development Agenda

September 21, 2017

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department –New York City) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah spoke at an event hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York City on Wednesday, joining other world figures in calling on young leaders to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Drawing the participation of Former US President Barack Obama, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates, the event, titled Goalkeepers, came as part of Queen Rania’s  working visit to the United States with His Majesty King Abdullah II.

In her remarks, Her Majesty recalled the launch of the Voyager I space probe 40 years ago, asking those in attendance to “consider how far we have come in that time, right here on Earth.”

Speaking before an audience of around 250 people, Her Majesty discussed the many changes the world has seen since the launch of the Voyager I space probe 40 years ago.

“We still confront age-old challenges like poverty, inequality, and disease,” Her Majesty said. “We’re dealing with newer challenges too – from melting glaciers and burning forests, to innocent refugee and migrant children dying at sea or in the back of trucks.”

In spite of the many benefits of “a world grown closer,” Queen Rania highlighted the tension that can be bred from increased connectivity.

“Too often, bias and bigotry are occupying our streets and our screens. As our world opens up, we see hearts closing down,” she said. “But your generation is determined to make a difference, despite our differences; to work together, instead of simply Tweeting past one another.”

Her Majesty went on to commend the innovation, creativity and collaborative spirit demonstrated by the world’s youth, explaining that they are harnessing technological innovation in the service of human development, as they understand that progress only counts when it is shared.

Urging the audience to “choose courage and compassion over panic and prejudice” and “hope over hatred,” the Queen concluded her remarks by stating that we already have the resources we need to create a more just world.

“You can be the generation that takes us from ‘we can’ to ‘we did,’” Her Majesty added.

Hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with Project Everyone, Goalkeepers 2017 invited leaders from business, civil society, media, technology, academia and government to explore ways to achieve the SDGs adopted by the United Nations in 2015.

In 2012, Queen Rania was a selected by Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take part in a high-level advisory panel on the development of the UN SDGs agenda, which includes targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.