Monday, 11 July 2016

Visit to the United Nations

11 July 2016 - 12 July 2016

Monday 11 july

Mathilde was a Keynote Speaker at the UN conference "Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Children Affected by Armed Conflict: Sharing best practices on psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration in the field".

with former child soldier, Kabba Williams


"(...) I am delighted to be able to introduce this event today: a panel debate featuring first-rate speakers, all of whom are personally committed to child advocacy."


"The protection of children’s rights is a cause that is particularly dear to me personally. So I consider it a privilege to be able to take an active part in raising awareness and advocacy on their behalf, both in my own country and at the level of the UN organisations. As Honorary President of UNICEF Belgium, I closely follow the impact and consequences of armed conflict and emergencies on children."

"During my field visits over the past 15 years, I have witnessed considerable progress in terms of increasing respect and protection for children in conflict zones. I have seen children reintegrated into their communities; I have seen child trafficking networks dismantled and children able to go back to school; I have seen children get better access to clean water, food, medical care and education.

However, there are still many violent conflicts around the world, as well as several so-called ‘forgotten emergencies’. UNICEF recently released its annual report on ‘The State of the World’s Children’. It reveals that nearly 250 million children currently live in places affected by armed conflict."


 "One element that has a significant negative effect on children is the rise of violent extremism in recent years. Young people are often the direct targets of acts intended to cause maximum civilian casualties. Another new and compounding challenge is the use of social media to recruit minors."



"The impact on children of our collective failure to prevent and end conflict is devastating. In fact, conflict prevention should be our common goal. Increased efforts should be made to identify long-term solutions that will reduce and mitigate the root causes of conflict, such as poverty."




"We need to engage in long-term programmes; we need to develop a comprehensive approach; we need to reach all children affected by conflict, not only child soldiers; and we need to be aware of the diversity of the children involved.

After enduring the horrors of armed conflict, children and youth should not give up on their dreams and aspirations. We must all do more to provide them with opportunities to heal, to learn and to thrive again. If we help mend their hearts and minds, we will inspire and empower them to help rebuild their countries. (...)"

The queen had a conversation with UN Special Representant for Children in War, Leila Zerrougui.



At night she met UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon at a Belgian reception. The meeting on forging consensus  & building peace was part of the campaign for a Belgian seat on the Peace Council in 2019-2020.







Tuesday 12 July

Queen Mathilde visited the UN Headquarters in New York, accompanied by Ban Ki-Moon. She pronounced a speech in French at the High Level Thematic Debate on Human Rights.





"(...) Lors d’une visite à un centre de santé communautaire en Ethiopie,  j’ai rencontré  un petit garçon de six ans, qui en paraissait deux. L’enfant  était apathique. Il avait le regard vide. Selon le médecin, il subissait des années plus tard  les séquelles d’une malnutrition subie à un très jeune âge. Il  serait difficile de remédier à son retard de développement, tant physique que mental.


J’ai ressenti comme fondamentalement injuste que les chances de cet enfant soient aussi profondément affectées. (..)"


" (...) Deux dynamiques – développement et droits humains - se légitiment et se renforcent mutuellement. Toutes deux sont nécessaires, l’une facilitant la réalisation de l’autre." 


" (...) De nombreuses dynamiques éclosent, au sein des gouvernements bien sûr, mais également de la société civile, des milieux académiques, des organisations non-gouvernementales, des médias, du monde culturel. C’est très encourageant. Il faut y ajouter  le  secteur privé, moteur de la croissance économique mais aussi responsable de la protection des droits de l’homme. Un climat propice aux  investissements, soutenu par un état de droit crédible, constitue un stimulant important du développement. (...)"


" (...) Nous vivons en ce moment une  dynamique  importante. Notre monde est confronté à des turbulences mais il connaît également des développements positifs. La prise de conscience grandissante du changement climatique, de la dimension inclusive de notre développement et de la dignité de toute personne humaine génère des engagements nouveaux ainsi que des marques de confiance dans notre avenir. Je suis persuadée que les Nations Unies, fortes de 70 ans d’expérience et d’une ambition juvénile, relèveront ces grands défis avec une détermination renouvelée.

Je suis heureuse, en ma qualité de défenseur des Objectifs de Développement, de pouvoir partager , avec vous, cet élan et de pouvoir contribuer à … sa durabilité."


She also had a work meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals.


Then it was on to the Unicef Headquarters where she met Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake.


Meeting Belgian journalists.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts