Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s Queen Sofia today highlighted the continued need for girls’ education, addressing the livelihood challenges faced by today’s youth and continuing to combat intolerance, while the United Nations chief also recognized the contributions rendered by King Juan Carlos during his reign.
In a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban commended Queen Sofia, who is the honorary president of the Spanish National Committee for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for her long-standing commitment to youth and education.
He stressed that he would “continue to rely on the leadership of Her Majesty as a long-time champion of children’s rights” even after the abdication of her husband, King Juan Carlos, according to a read-out of the meeting.
Mr. Ban also conveyed his sincere gratitude for Spain’s exceptional contributions to the work of the UN, including in the context of the Alliance of Civilizations and the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General recognized King Juan Carlos’s contribution to public service over the past 39 years, including “his important role in Spain’s transition to democracy” in 1977-1978.
“The Secretary-General looks forward to continuing his cooperation and that of the United Nations with His Royal Highness Prince Felipe and wishes him every success in fulfilling his important duties,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson had said.