Soccer legend David Beckham has spent the day shining a light on children’s needs at a United Nations summit in New York.
The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador took to the stage along with actress Millie Bobby Brown to mark World Children’s Day which also happens to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“I grew up in the East End of London,” he began. “I always dreamed of being a professional footballer. It was all I ever wanted. And unlike many children around the world, I was incredibly lucky.”
“Since 2001, I’ve worked with UNICEF, meeting girls and boys from all over the world. Children much less fortunate than that boy from East End of London,” he continued.
“Children hungry and sick. Children living through wars. Children who lost their parents in earthquakes and floods. Girls and boys with different stories and backgrounds from my own.”
“Like all children” Beckham continues, “they have one thing in common. They have ambitions, and they have dreams for a better future.”
The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador urged leaders and public figures to listen to what kids have to say and do more to protect their dreams: “Because the future doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to children.”
World Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 every year and aims to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children all over the planet who don’t have the basic necessities that so many of us take for granted – access to clean water, food, sanitation, health care and an education.
You can watch Beckham’s full speech below: