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Director-General's remarks at the Children's Walk Ceremony

Tatiana Valovaya

United Nations Women’s Guild Children’s Walk ceremony

Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 10.00 a.m.

Room XIX


Madame la Présidente,
Chères Membres du Cercle féminin des Nations Unies, 
Chers enseignants, 
Et surtout chers enfants,

Soyez les bienvenus au Palais des Nations dans cette magnifique salle de réunions multilatérales. Je suis très heureuse d'être ici avec vous ce matin pour cette nouvelle édition de la cérémonie de la Marche des enfants. 

Je tiens à remercier le Cercle Féminin des Nations Unies pour l’organisation de cet événement de collecte de fonds, qui a eu lieu pour la première fois en 2002 et encore aujourd’hui est une célébration de l'esprit de partage et de solidarité par la jeune génération de la Genève internationale. 

Votre engagement est très important pour des centaines d'enfants dans le monde qui autrement ne seraient pas en mesure de poursuivre leurs études. Je voudrais remercier chaleureusement tous les enfants présents ici aujourd'hui, et bien sûr leurs enseignants sans qui cette édition n’aurait pas été possible.

Dear children,

The theme of this year’s Children's Walk is "Children Walking for Children, Well-being and Clean Environment". Today, we are going to talk about something really important: how education, health and taking care of our planet are also part of a big plan called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This is a plan for making our world a better place. When we talk about education – Goal number 4 – we are not just talking about reading and writing; we are talking about giving every child the chance to learn and contribute their unique talents to our world, no matter where they live.  Look around at your friends and imagine if some of them could not go to school anymore. Would you not think this is wrong? At the United Nations, we think that every child in the world should be able to go to school and learn. We also think it is important we all work together so that this can happen everywhere.

Next, let's think about health. Being healthy means feeling strong, happy and ready to take on the world. Eating healthy food, playing outside and taking care of our bodies are all part of staying healthy. When we focus on good health and well-being, we can prevent illnesses and save lives. That is where the Goal number 3 — Good Health and Well-being — comes into play. This Goal is all about making sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality healthcare services, vaccines, and information on how to stay healthy. It's not just about taking care of ourselves; it's about taking care of each other and building a healthier world for everyone.

Now, let's talk about our planet—the Earth. Our planet gives us so much: clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink and beautiful forests and oceans to explore. It's up to all of us to take care of our environment by recycling, conserving water and protecting wildlife. When we take care of our planet, we ensure that it stays beautiful and healthy for everyone.

By learning about these important topics and taking action, you can become change-makers. Whether it is planting trees, picking up litter or helping a friend in need, every small act of kindness, solidarity or care adds up to make a big impact.

Together, let's work towards a world where everyone can go to school, stay healthy and happy, and where our planet thrives — all within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This work is our common responsibility. This is why everyone around the world needs to work together to achieve them. 

Enjoy the rest of the event, and let's continue to inspire each other to create positive change.

Thank you for being here and come back next year!


This speech is part of a curated selection from various official events and is posted as prepared.