In her address at the Global Child Forum’s annual Partner Advisory Board meeting, Crown Princess Victoria, also a UN Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, urged business to come together around all of the goals in order to advance children’s rights.
“They are all – directly or indirectly – children’s rights goals. And none of them can be achieved without the active participation of the private sector. Companies operate globally and locally. They are employers, investors and suppliers. They have a significant presence in their local communities and in people’s everyday lives. And as we all know, that is where real change takes place.”
Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, I am not going to talk about why children’s rights matter. Nor am I going to tell you why we need to invest in a better future for all children.
Because if you didn’t know that, you probably wouldn’t be here right now. And you most definitely wouldn’t have made such generous contributions to the work of the Global Child Forum.
What I would like to do, however, is to talk to you about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals.
I want to tell you why, in my opinion, every single one of these seventeen goals is a children’s rights goal.
Let me start by giving you some background.
Almost two years ago, the United Nations’ then Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed me as an advocate to promote the Global Goals.
I was honoured to accept this important role. And I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me.
During these last two years, it has been my privilege to take the time to deepen my engagement in the challenges we face – such as poverty, inequality and climate change.
The most important thing to understand about the Global Goals is that they are not really a list of targets. But rather a network or a system.
The only way to successfully achieve one goal is by working on the others as well. They cannot be ticked off one by one. Instead, they are all interlinked.
Let me give you just one example. Goal number 6: Clean water and sanitation.
Of course, this goal concerns the environment. But more importantly, it concerns people. And it most definitely concerns children.
Every day, 800 children under the age of five, die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.
Goal number six is about each and every one of those children.
Goal number six is about the child who spends her day fetching water for her family instead of learning to read and write.
Goal number six is about the teenage girl who stays at home because her school lacks decent sanitary facilities.
This is what the goal of clean water and sanitation is really all about. It’s about children’s right to health, to education, and to equal opportunities.
The same goes for all the Global Goals. They are all – directly or indirectly – children’s rights goals. And none of them can be achieved without the active participation of the private sector.
During the last seven years, I have had the chance to follow the development of the Global Child Forum through its founders – my mother and father.
The Global Child Forum is an example of the unique ability of the business community to be a force for good.
Companies operate globally and locally. They are employers, investors and suppliers. They have a significant presence in their local communities and in people’s everyday lives. And as we all know, that is where real change takes place.
Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed partners of the Global Child Forum: We have a great task ahead of us.
So let’s get to work.
(November 15, 2017, Stockholm, Sweden)