Queen Rania’s Speech at VEVO Launch - NY, USA

December 09, 2009

Thank you, Jimmy. Music royalty…acting royalty…advertising royalty…Man, it’s hard for plain old royalty-royalty to stand out in this crowd!  But of course, that’s not what it’s about, and it’s great to be here to share this moment of musical and social media history. You don’t need to understand what VEVO means, to know that it’s set to transform the way we access music videos. I’m here tonight because I believe VEVO can help transform something else. I’m here tonight because I believe VEVO can help transform the state of global education. I want to tap that VEVO vibe on behalf of 75 million children denied the education they deserve…the education that is their birthright.  75 million… almost four times the population of New York State. 75 million… who've never spelled their own names. 75 million…who can't read the instructions on a bottle of life-saving medicine.  75 million… shackled in poverty… sentenced to a cycle of hopelessness. Meanwhile, it’s been nine years since global leaders pledged education for all. And there’s been some progress. But it’s limped instead of leaped… Because there’s been too many conferences and campaign promises, and not enough action on the ground. The result? A yawning gap between finance and follow-through. Which is strange, because education for all can dig us out of a whole lot of holes.  It prevents disease, promotes stability… prevents poverty, promotes stronger nations. And when you get girls into school, well, that’s like squaring all those benefits again and again and again. And what would it cost to make education for all a reality? I mean, it must be expensive because we’re not doing it, right? Wrong. To get all children in developing countries into kindergartens and classrooms would cost $11 billion annually. $11 billion. That might sound like a lot, but that’s about what fans spent downloading music onto their mobile phones last year. In other words, we have money for ringtones, but no money to ring in lasting change to a child’s life. 1GOAL is a new global campaign to hold politicians to their education promises.  Riding the wave of the soccer World Cup in South Africa next June, billed to be the most watched event in 2010, 1GOAL will call on supporters to sign their names for those who have never even held a pencil.  This is our one chance to petition presidents and prime ministers before the G8 and the UN General Assembly next year. Because political will is born of popular will. We need people power. VEVO power. We’ve seen how music unites people in the past. From Band Aid to Live Aid… Live 8 to Live Earth.  Well, tonight, I want all of you to unite for global education. Because, for 75 million boys and girls, the game is on the line.  Let’s unite the magic of music, the magnitude of social media, and the power of the advertising world, with the momentum of the soccer World Cup.  Let’s join with VEVO and 1GOAL and take this petition platinum. And let’s remind politicians that education is not a luxury to be rationed to some, but a right to be enjoyed by all. Thank you very much.