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09 February 2018

Speech by Her Majesty the Queen

The SDGs: a Transformative Agenda for the Future That We Want

University of Ghana
Accra, 9 February 2018

Your Excellency President Akufo-Addo,
Vice-Prime Minister,
Vice-Chancellor,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Students,

First of all, I want to thank His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo for inviting me to address you here in Accra, in the beautiful surroundings of the university.

The President and I share a commitment. We were both appointed by the UN Secretary- General to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. Your President co-chairs this group. The UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals unanimously, in September 2015. Together the 17 goals cover a broad range of social and economic development issues. The provision of adequate healthcare and education, an end to inequality, decent work for all, water and sanitation, energy, the environment, climate change, and so on. Together they form the roadmap for achieving Agenda 2030. In a nutshell, Agenda 2030 is an ambitious commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development worldwide by the year 2030, leaving no one behind.

As a UN Special Advocate for the SDGs, education is one of the areas on which I particularly focus. So I am especially pleased to be able to address you here, at the university. I believe that access to quality education is a fundamental element of sustainable development. Without it, individuals cannot get decent jobs. They remain poor and unable to contribute to the economic growth of their community. As a...

06 February 2018

Dear Young People,

You young people love to go online. And there is nothing wrong with that. But cyberbullying is not alright. There are some things that should not be posted online. Always show respect for others.

Do you feel frightened, angry or sad about something posted online about you? Then tell someone you trust, as quickly as possible. I know, that takes courage. But it’s OK to talk about bullying.

Can you see that someone else is being bullied online? Stand up for each other. Because cyberbullying really isn’t OK.

18 January 2018 to 27 January 2018

Speech by his Majesty The King
to the Governments of our country
Brussels, 18 January 2018

-

(Speech pronounced in French, Dutch and German)

Monsieur le Premier Ministre,

La Reine et moi vous remercions pour vos aimables vœux au nom des autorités du pays.

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Je suis heureux de pouvoir m’adresser à vous en ce début d’année. Je vous souhaite à tous une année heureuse sur le plan personnel ainsi qu’à tous ceux qui vous sont chers. A travers ces vœux, je souhaite aussi le meilleur à tout le pays dont vous avez la charge et portez la responsabilité. Le Nouvel An est un moment de réflexion et de bonnes résolutions. C’est une occasion de regarder de l’avant, en posant un regard responsable sur les choses. Un regard qui voit d’abord ce qui a été réalisé avec succès, et ensuite ce qui pourrait être amélioré en encourageant chacun à révéler ce qu’il a de meilleur.

Notre pays fait preuve de stabilité et de solidité. Il est reconnu comme tel. C’est un atout majeur dans un monde incertain. Stabilité ne veut pas dire immobilisme. Nous conjuguons notre diversité pour en tirer toute la richesse. Nous nous projetons avec dynamisme et adaptation, que ce soit au niveau économique, sociétal ou politique.

Onze economie is open en vitaal. Op het terrein zie ik telkens weer hoe er voortdurend inspanningen worden geleverd die leiden tot een dynamisch en menselijk ondernemerschap. Nu België en Europa opnieuw een krachtiger economische groei kennen, is het...

24 December 2017

(Speech pronounced in Dutch, French and German)

Discours de S.M. le Roi
à l’occasion de Noël et du Nouvel An
Bruxelles, le 24 décembre 2017

 

Mesdames et Messieurs,

 

Au début de ce mois, j’ai reçu au Palais un groupe d’enfants, curieux de découvrir et de comprendre ce qu'est le métier de Roi. En parlant de la préparation de mon discours de Noël, l’un d’eux a évoqué la chance que nous avons de vivre dans un pays aussi beau que la Belgique. Malgré les difficultés personnelles que nous rencontrons, malgré l’insécurité dans le monde et les menaces qui pèsent sur les grands équilibres mondiaux, osons voir les choses avec un autre regard. Un regard qui voit au-delà de ce qui manque, au-delà de ce qui fait défaut. Un regard qui s’émerveille.

Notre manière de voir les choses conditionne notre façon d’agir. Si l’on s’émerveille devant la nature, on agira envers elle avec plus de respect. Cela vaut d’autant plus pour ceux qui nous entourent. Au-delà de nos faiblesses et de nos manques, il y a en chacun de nous une riche beauté intérieure qui mérite d’être cultivée. A Holsbeek, dans une maison de repos que j’ai récemment visitée, les équipes soignantes aident les personnes âgées à révéler ce qu’elles ont de beau en elles, au-delà de ce que la maladie ou la vieillesse leur a enlevé. Cela les a amenés à imaginer, ensemble, de nouvelles façons de tisser...

08 December 2017

Acceptance Address German Sustainability Award

Düsseldorf, 8 December 2017

 

 

Meine Damen und Herren,

Guten Abend,

Es ist mir eine Freude, in ihrem Jubiläumsjahr diesen Ehrenpreis erhalten zu dürfen. Ich bin tief bewegt durch diese Auszeichnung. Ich gratuliere Ihnen für Ihre Arbeit an einer nachhaltigen Zukunft.   

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here in Germany again. As neighbours, Belgium and Germany share common values and very similar cultures. And we both have a decades-long tradition of sustainability, our theme tonight.

I want to thank the Sustainability Awards organisation for the honour they have conferred on me. In my capacity as an Advocate for the SDGs, I am proud to work to raise awareness for sustainable development. But I also feel humbled by the award. Humbled, because I owe this recognition largely to the people who work, day after day, on the ground, to improve lives and create a better world.

Those people, Ladies and Gentlemen, deserve all the support and encouragement we can give them.

Awareness of the need for sustainable development is growing. Not just in Belgium and here in Germany, but all over the world. The development of the 2030 Agenda is proof of this. For the first time, the Goals look at the bigger picture of development. They take a global, inclusive and co-operative approach to the social, economic and environmental concerns facing the world today. For they are all interlinked.

...

10 November 2017

Speech of His Majesty the King of Belgium

at the National Domestic Workers Movement

Mumbai, Friday 10 November 2017.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear children,

 

Sharing this moment with you is for the Queen and I a source of great joy. We thank you for the gift of your smiles and song.

We are happy that we could include a visit here in our program in India.

Strong values guide the relations between our two countries since a long time. They were specially felt during the First World War through the heroic support of brave Indian soldiers who fought at our side for our liberty.

Many Belgians also came to India, fascinated by this great country and its people, to give the best of themselves wherever there was a need.

Among those is Sister Jeanne. Dear Sister, we know you since a long time. You dedicated your life working for others. We are grateful for your dedication and your energy. What you have created here is a powerful example for all of us.

Let me thank you and congratulate you, Sister Jeanne, and all those who work here in a spirit of selflessness. Queen Mathilde and I wish you every success.

 ...

07 November 2017

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians

at the State Banquet hosted by

His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind, President of India

Rashtrapati Bhavan, Tuesday 7 November 2017

 

 

Mr. President, Queen Mathilde and I thank you for your warm welcome this morning and for the kind words you addressed to us a moment ago. 

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Satyam eva jayate”, “Truth alone triumphs”. Only what is true, what is worthy, will prevail. This ancient wisdom from the Mundaka Upanishad, which is more than 2,500 years old, was adopted by your country as its national motto 70 years ago. In today’s complex world it is more valid than ever, and it will guide us through our visit to India. 

Like so many Belgians and members of our delegation, we come to India with feelings of great respect and admiration. For your old and rich culture, which continues to fill us with wonder and to inspire us. For the greatness and the legacy of your leaders, from emperors like Ashoka and Akbar to Mahatma Gandhi. For your tradition of religious tolerance : more than 3,500 years ago, the Rig Veda already referred to “the One existence, which sages describe in many ways”. For the vibrant and peaceful evolution of your democracy, the world’s biggest. For the dynamism of your economy and your world leadership in so many fields. 

Over the centuries, Belgium and India...

30 July 2017

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians
at the Commemoration of the Centenary of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres.
Menin Gate, July 30th, 2017.

Every time we stand here under the Menin Gate, we feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the sacrifice of the men whose names surround us. And when a fresh breeze whispers through the arches, it touches something inside all of us. It is as if the fallen were telling us : we did this for you. Indeed, they came to our country from near and far to defend our freedom alongside our own soldiers. Ever since, we have expressed our gratitude to these heroes, and a hundred years have passed without it being diminished.

I am proud of the people of Ypres and of other places on the Western Front. Conscious of the sacrifices made by those who fought on Belgian soil, they pay homage daily on behalf of all Belgian citizens. The Last Post ceremony, held here each evening, is a tradition founded and maintained by the local community. It has taken place more than 30,000 times since 1928 and is an important part of the identity of the city of Ypres. Members of the Last Post Association organise the ceremony day after day, on busy summer evenings and quiet winter nights. For your dedication, we thank you.

Passchendaele was a struggle for freedom, our common freedom, the freedom we enjoy today. At the time it...

20 July 2017

(Speech pronounced in Dutch, French and German)

Discours de S.M. le Roi
à l’occasion de la Fête Nationale, le 21 juillet 2017.

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Aujourd’hui, un vent d’optimisme souffle sur notre économie et sur le marché de l’emploi. Une nouvelle dynamique européenne semble prendre forme. Alors comment saisir ce moment ? Comment en faire une opportunité pour l’ensemble de la société ? En continuant à façonner une société inclusive, dans laquelle personne ne se sent abandonné.

Apprendre, au sens large, est une des clés pour y parvenir. Apprendre des autres et avec les autres.

A l’âge du savoir immédiat et omniprésent, apprendre à interpréter les faits et à émettre un jugement de valeur, permet de prendre ses responsabilités en connaissance de cause. ‘C’est vrai’. ‘C’est juste’. ‘C’est bien’ … Les jeunes apprennent cela en premier lieu de leurs parents. Et aussi de ces enseignants passionnés, qui éveillent chez leurs élèves le désir de comprendre. Dans un monde qui évolue à un rythme accéléré, ils apprennent de leurs aînés comment prendre du recul. Les aînés peuvent aussi apprendre des plus jeunes. Encourageons la rencontre de l’enthousiasme et de la créativité avec la sagesse et l’expérience de vie.

Le travail également est un lieu qui permet cette rencontre. De plus en plus d’écoles en Belgique intègrent le travail en entreprise dans leur programme. Lors d’un récent voyage en Suisse, j’ai pu apprécier les succès engrangés par ce modèle de formation en alternance. Continuons à favoriser les synergies entre le...

07 June 2017

European Development Days
Tour & Taxis, Brussels
7 June 2017
High Level Panel Debate
“Leaving no one behind”

(Speech pronounced in English and French)

“Investment in development, means first of all investment in people”. People must be at the center of our concerns and our efforts to leave no one behind. Quality education and health are cornerstones of an inclusive sustainable development.

Your Excellences, Ladies & Gentleman,

With this in mind, the European Development Days offer us an exceptional platform to make the case for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Europe invests more than anybody else into sustainable development around the world. Moreover, closer to home the countries of the European Union are deeply committed to instill in their social policies the core principle of sustainability for the benefit of all. 

We are still at the beginning of the journey of Agenda 2030. The beginning of a transformative journey. So the outreach to various players and the implementation are of the essence.  Brussels, at the very heart of Europe, can and will be an excellent multiplier for our Goals. 

Notre échange de vues de ce midi, auquel participaient également de hauts responsables des Nations Unies et de l’Union européenne, vient de l’illustrer. Il est évident que la poursuite des ambitions de l’agenda 2030 sera facilitée par la recherche de synergies et de partenariats.

Le sujet de discussion que nous allons aborder se situe au cœur de...

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