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Address by H.M. the Queen - Voices4Development

6 June 2017

European Development Days - Voices4Development Reach out-event - Flagey, Brussels, 6 June 2017

Remarks by Her Majesty the Queen


Chers jeunes,

Beste jongeren,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


C’est un moment important qui nous réunit dans ce palais de la culture, autour des SDGs, à l’occasion des Journées Européennes du Développement.

Bijna twee jaar geleden aanvaardden de Verenigde Naties de agenda 2030, een ambitieuze ontwikkelingsagenda met 17 ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen.

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, set by the UN, address all the major challenges facing the world today. From poverty to healthcare, education, climate change, peace and security, and more. 

For my part, I am particularly interested in education and health. And let us not forget mental health. The theme of this year’s European Development Days is ‘Investing in Development’. What better way to do that than by investing in decent education and healthcare for everyone? I firmly believe that without these, there can be no development.

During recent visits to Jordan and Laos, I was struck by what the young children I met told me. How traumatized they were by poverty, or by their fate as refugees. They desperately need mental healthcare to help them deal with these stresses.

The children also told me how eager they were to go to school. One child had made a drawing. Beneath it she had written: ‘Education is essential for our future. The role of teachers is crucial. They must be encouraged in their mission.’

It is a simple but powerful message. It says everything about education as a cornerstone of development. It reminds us that we must ensure that all children have the opportunity to get an education.

For without education it is very hard to find a decent job. Without a decent job it is very hard to build a prosperous future. And development is limited. We must do everything in our power to create opportunities and make sure no one is left behind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is heartening to see so many young people here tonight, on the eve of the European Development Days.  I am particularly pleased to welcome the EDD Young Leaders. They have come, literally, from all over the world.

You, young people, have an important role to play here. These European Development Days are an opportunity for you to make your voices heard.

An opportunity, too, for you to make sure we hear the voices of the voiceless in your part of the world. We are eager to hear them. To hear your dreams and aspirations, your ideas for shaping a better, safer, just and prosperous world.

For the future is yours. And you have an important role to play in building it.

Ik dank u,

Je vous remercie,

I thank you.