Speech by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander at the SDG Summit, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the auspices of the General Assembly, New York
King Willem-Alexander speaks at a meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals were set by the UN member states in 2015 as part of the new global development agenda to put an end to extreme poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change. King Willem-Alexander is leading the delegation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the United Nations General Assembly.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour for me to speak here at the SDG Summit. Today, I am representing the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands. Both its Caribbean and European parts.
The scientists’ conclusions are crystal clear: if we want to reach the goals we have set, we must adopt a truly transformative approach on a global scale.
Let me mention three entry points that we, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, believe are crucial.
The first is an economy that respects the limits of our planet. We call this a circular economy. Today, humanity consumes much more than the planet can supply.
In the Netherlands, public and private partners have come together and worked out a roadmap to guide us towards achieving a 100 percent circular economy by 2050.
But achievements at national level are not enough. We have to work on international value chains as well. Do we know how our food, clothes and phones are produced? Where the materials come from? What are the working conditions for those who make them?
We must be inclusive, and reach the people who are producing these goods.
Mr President, this brings me to the second point: everyone in the world needs to be able to exercise their rights.
Today, 5.1 billion people are vulnerable because they lack access to justice. This is why Sierra Leone, Argentina, The Elders and the Netherlands have joined forces, committing ourselves to increasing access to justice on a global scale. We encourage others to join us.
The third critical entry point is women’s rights. Across the world, women continue to face serious barriers to exercising their rights and developing their full potential.
And the progress we have achieved in the past few decades, for example on sexual health and reproductive rights, is under pressure. Let’s treat women and girls as equals, so they can help create the world we want to see in 2030.
Mr President, my statement ends with a call for inclusion.
We should be open to the ideas and solutions proposed by young and old, by great powers or Small Island Developing States, by business or local government. And we should not forget that the overall principle of this agenda is Leaving No One Behind.