“It is very nice to be back in the UK and it is very nice to be back with all of you at One Young World.
“As you’ll likely hear many times this week, you’ll hear all sorts of things: Some very heavy, some very uplifting, but the resounding spirit, I believe you’ll hear, is that you are the future. But I would like to add to that, that you are also present.
“You are the ones driving the positive and necessary change needed across the globe now in this very moment and for that, I’m so grateful to be in your company today.
“It was several years ago in 2014 that I was first invited to be a counselor at One Young World and, in many ways at the time, I was probably a lot like each of you: Young, ambitious, advocating for the things I deeply and deeply believed in.
“And also looking around and wondering, ‘How on earth did I get here?’ Have any of you today so far had that feeling, that ‘Pinch me’ moment, where you’re just so, ‘How am I here?’ And at that dinner there were 28 to 30 of us, the counselors, and there I was this girl from Suits and I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists that I had such a deep and longstanding respect and admiration for. And I was invited to pull up a seat at the table.
“I was so overwhelmed by this experience, I think I even saved my little paper place card that said my name on it – just proof, proof that I was there. And proof that I belonged.
“Because the truth was I wasn’t sure that I belonged. I was so nervous. I doubted myself and I wondered, wondered if I was good enough to be there – what I was doing in the world, albeit important and meaningful as far as I saw it, was it deserving to have a seat at this table?
“But One Young World saw in me what I wanted to see fully in myself. They saw in me, just as I see in you, the present and the future. And I reiterate that point because often times when we speak to young adults about the years ahead, about what you’ll do, what you’ll have to adopt to fix from previous generations and also what legacy you will leave, but too often in that we neglect the point that you’re doing it now. You here in this present moment, this is where it’s all beginning.
“The first year I joined the delegation in Dublin I worked with a young woman from Eritrea and she described how she had escaped her home country, fleeing with bullets fired above her head. I still remember it so well. I remember my shock and also remember her courage. My recognition of how much continues to go on each day with so many turning a blind eye, and yet despite all odds, she, like so many, still persevered.
“I followed up that trip joining a delegation in 2016 in Ottawa. I was very lucky to receive a day off of filming specifically to take a quick flight from Toronto up to Ottawa and to be able to join this work again for One Young World, being with some people I admired most, including former president of Ireland Mary Robinson. I joined you in London in 2019 and by that point, it’s fair to say, my life had changed rather significantly. I was now married and I was now a mom .”
At this point, there were cheers from the audience, before Meghan continued.
She said: “My world view had expanded exponentially, seeing the global community through the eyes of my child and I would ask, what is this world he would come to adopt? And what can we do, what can I do to make it better ?
“I’m thrilled that my husband is able to join me here this time…”
“To be able to see and witness firsthand my respect for this organization, this incredible organization and all that it provides as well as accomplishes. One Young World had been an integral part of my life for so many years before I met him so to meet again here, on UK soil, with him by my side, make it all feel full circle.
“And just as a sidebar, earlier this afternoon we sat down with a few of you delegates and it was incredibly inspiring, the resounding themes that came up. About representation, about inclusion, about access and about trying to shift the global perspective for all of us as a global community to one of curiosity over criticism.
“My husband has long advocated for important and necessary impact in the world, focusing a huge part of his life’s work on the youth. So for both of us, bearing witness to the power that you hold in your hands and the unbridled enthusiasm and energy that you have to see things come to fruition – it is just an absolute privilege. I’m incredibly humbled to not just stand before each of you, but to stand beside you.
“We often hear people say the time is now, but I’m going to double down on that, by saying your time is now. The important work can’t wait for tomorrow.
“And this week the world is watching as you cement your place in history by showcasing the good that you are doing today in the present moment as we embrace the moment of now to create a better tomorrow.”