Today Queen Letizia travelled to Belgium to attend the inaugural session of the XII edition of the “European Development Days (EDD) 2018. She was joined by the Queen Mathilde of Belgium for the event. EDD is the largest European forum of international cooperation and development, whose main theme is gender equality and the empowerment and participation of women and girls in sustainable development.
Organized by the European Commission, the “European Days of Development 2018”, which will be held on June 5 and 6 in the Belgian capital, bring together the world development community to share ideas and experiences to inspire new alliances and innovate in solutions for the challenges facing the planet.
Under the slogan “Women and girls in the vanguard of sustainable development: protection, empowerment, investment”, the agenda of the European Development Days of 2018 will be developed around three themes and key priorities in the current context: “to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of girls and women “(physical autonomy); “promote the economic and social empowerment of girls and women” ¨ (economic autonomy) and “strengthen the voice and participation of girls and women” (political autonomy).
Before the beginning of the day, the Queen held a private meeting with Queen Mathilde of Belgium, at the Royal Palace of Laeken. In the end, they went together to attend the European Development Days.
Then Doña Letizia accompanied by Queen Mathilde and the attending Heads of State and Government, moved to the auditorium before the beginning the inaugural session of the XII edition of the “European Days of Development 2018”.
Speaking at the event Queen Letizia said,” Europe plays an essential role in the social policies that lead the way to cooperation. As the UN and the European Commission affirm, a cross-cutting equality approach is the backbone in the development of the capacities that every human being deserves: education opportunities, access to health services and quality nutrition and to move freely and safely. Fighting the combination of poverty and gender inequality, demands a balance between both the public and private spheres in our life, between the political and economic, and family and beliefs.”
Full Transcript of Queen’s impressive speech –
“Good morning and thank you very much for allowing me to take part in these relevant European Days dedicated to development.
Two weeks ago, I was walking around the most impoverished neighbourhood in the American continent –Cité Soleil, in Haití- (where I went to raise awareness and support for the Spanish cooperation). That same day, a woman was being appointed as president of de New York Stock Exchange. At the very same hour, when the biggest stock market in the world was being led for the first time in its history by a woman (Stacey Cunningham), another woman, Nadine, 17 years old, was telling me in her best French, that her 3year old son (just imagine), didn’t have anything to eat. She also told me that she could not read nor write. And also that she nearly died giving birth.
You all probably know about hundreds, thousands perhaps, of cases that show similar disparities all around the world. You all know very well that these things happen. Every day. You also know that when referring to human development there is more to it than just pure economic growth.
Europe was built upon such values as solidarity. And that is one of the reasons why we are here. Because Europe plays an essential role in the social policies that lead the way to cooperation. As the UN and the European Commission affirm, a cross-cutting equality approach, is the backbone in the development of the capacities that every human being deserves: education opportunities, access to health services and quality nutrition and to move freely and safely. Fighting the combination of poverty and gender inequality, demands a balance between both the public and private spheres in our life, between the political and economic, and family and beliefs.
Two more ideas I would like to share with you as food for thought: integral health, in the words of the WHO, precedes development. It is, in fact, the very source of development. The amount of figures on health development and women is endless. As an example, I just pick these from recent WHO reports: 40 percent of the world population has no access to electricity or clean fuels. This results in 4 million deaths per year, mostly women and children.
When talking about development cooperation, a joint enterprises and committed action by all the social, economic and political actors, is certainly the most appropriate and valuable way to reach the objectives set by the EU Gender Action Plan, in line with the UNSDGs. And, ultimately, a good way to provide every human being with the means to find the best possible conditions for the full development and, of course, for the happiness. Thank you all very much.”
Letizia ended the day by attending the opening of the debate organized by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development on “Women and girls with disabilities”.
The Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development – AECID, manages the Spanish policy of international cooperation.
Letizia with the delegates and participates of the AECID.
Coming to sartorial details of the day, Queen Letizia chose the colour that she carries with confidence –Red. She brought back the red suit form Spanish label Roberto Torretta that she debuted in Valladolid at a commemoration event in this March.
The suit belongs to label’s 2017/18 Autumn-Winter collection and consists of a vee-neckline shirt with a fitted jacket featuring 2 pockets and pants with slitted hem.
Letizia completed her look with diamond and ruby earrings that have been part of her vanity for a long time.