Queen Rania's speech at Goalkeepers - NY, USA

September 20, 2017

Forty years ago this month, we launched something out of this world.

Voyager I soared into the heavens to explore our solar system… and beyond.

It carries a keepsake from home—the Golden Record: a 12-inch disc of humanity’s greatest hits… with photographs illustrating human life… spoken greetings in 55 languages… global music selections from Beethoven to Chuck Berry… and a host of other sonic souvenirs.

So, today, 13 billion miles from Earth, a time capsule from the Seventies is roaming across the galaxy.

But, just as amazing, consider how far we have come in that time, right here on Earth. Consider how different our world is today from the one that Voyager knew.

We carry more power in the phones in our pockets than existed in Voyager’s computers.

We’ve invented the Internet… mapped the human genome… eradicated diseases… created machines that have transformed the way we communicate, learn, and live.

And now, a great new accelerator of progress could transform the hopes of humanity.

I’m talking about you.

Your generation is “What’s Changing about Changing the World.”

Yes, we still confront age-old challenges like poverty, inequality, and disease.

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.

And for all the benefits of a world grown closer, lately, that closeness has bred tension, not trust. The forces of fear and the rhetoric of resentment are chipping away at our common ground… and, too often, bias and bigotry are occupying our streets and our screens.

As our world opens up, we see hearts closing down.

But your generation is determined to make a difference, despite our differences; to work together, instead of simply Tweeting past one another. Because you know that people who are not like you, are still people, like you… and that hope, not hatred, can heal the fractures of our wounded world.

You also know that power structures have shifted; that new and innovative solutions will not come from the dusty corridors of government … and that, by the same token, new actors have a new obligation to play their part.

So, you don’t sit back and wait for others to lead. You jump in. You reach out. You create—from making apps to help refugees… to using social media to fight famine… to designing new ways to bring clean water to people who need it most.

You’re harnessing technological innovation in the service of human development—because you understand that progress only counts when it is shared. 

And there’s one more thing.  

You’re collaborative by nature, across boundaries that used to divide. After all, you’ve grown up in a seamless world, where boundaries lose their meaning.

Which brings me back to Voyager—gazing down on Earth…

Last month, the designer of the original Golden Record launched a campaign to make a new one.

It got me thinking about what we might put on it, if we do.

I’m guessing we’d add some songs by Beyoncé and DJ Khaled, or maybe ‘Despacito’ – assuming the rest of galaxy isn’t already dancing to it! I’d also vote for a speech by Melinda!

But what if, with your generation’s help, we could beam a bold new message to the galaxy?

What if we could say that on this planet, we all look out for each other… that no one goes hungry, no one goes thirsty, and no one gets left behind?

What if we could say that on this planet, everyone gets an education… everyone gets to fulfill their potential… everyone’s future looks hopeful?

What if we could say that on this planet, everybody matters… and that on this planet, we choose courage and compassion, over panic and prejudice? That we choose hope over hatred?

We already have the resources we need to create a more just world.

We may not ever make another Golden Record, but I know that we can reach our Global Goals.

You can be the generation that takes us from “we can” to “we did”…

            Thank you.