The retired soccer star made the appeal during his visit to the United Nations (U.N.) building in New York on Thursday (24Sep15).

Beckham, who is an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), headed to the organisation's base for the launch of Voices for Youth, a UNICEF blogging initiative.

He spoke about the decade he has been involved with the charity, and urged U.N. members to prioritise the welfare of children when they set their 'Global Goals' on Friday (25Sep15).

He said, "I want a world where children can grow up safe from war, violence, poverty and preventable disease - don't you? Join me in asking the world leaders to put children, especially the most disadvantaged at the heart of the new global goals. I will personally not rest until that ambition is realised."

During his speech, Beckham appeared visibly upset as he relayed a story about a family with two daughters, Venus and Viana, who were caught in the 2013 typhoon which devastated the Philippines.

He added, "On the night the typhoon hit, the family were on their roof trying to protect themselves. The mother, tired, scared, exhausted, said to the father, 'Can you please take Viana?', so the father did. He has Venus and Viana in his arms. Unfortunately the father was knocked off the roof by one of the waves. He woke up six hours later holding one of the girls.

"A day and a half later unfortunately Viana was found face down and unfortunately she had died. This was one of the most devastating stories I heard."

Earlier this year (15), Beckham launched his own charity initiative with UNICEF, the 7Fund, aimed at improving the lives of children worldwide.