Every year, the European Development Days (EDDs) bring together the most important players in the European field of development cooperation. VVOB was also present, and witnessed Queen Mathilde of Belgium's plea for more funding in education in the struggle for sustainable development.
Invest in people
Last year, Queen Mathilde was appointed member of a prestigious group that also includes singer Shakira and football star Lionel Messi. The SDG Advocates are charged with the task to motivate the international community to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
At the EDDs in June, the Queen gave an opening speech about how development cooperation is not just about financial help: "Investment in development means, first of all, investment in people." She warned that progress will evade us as long as the most vulnerable cannot find their way to a school or a doctor. "We need to give a voice to those who live in the most difficult circumstances. Sustainable development requires a global approach. All these goals are linked."
The Queen's vision on inclusive and sustainable development has two cornerstones: mental health and education. "We need to support quality education everywhere in the world. Not just infrastructure is important, but also the professional development of teachers."