Your Serene Highness,
Your Excellency the Minister of State,
Dear Baden Powell Fellows,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is wonderful to see some familiar faces among our Fellowship members, but even better to see so many new members.
This is the first time that the World Scout Foundation has had a Fellowship event in Monaco. We need more friends in Monaco who share our belief in Scouting as an education for life, and working for a better world requires developing good leaders.
Tonight I hope that we have shown you a new view of Scouting. A view that maybe goes beyond what you have experienced earlier. It is probably not anything you see in your neighbourhoods today.
We started by showing more of the "fun" side of Scouting, but I think you can see that it is fun with a purpose. Scouting is a volunteer organization. Scouting is a real grass-roots Movement in nearly every community in the world.
Young people have a need to belong to a group. Having fun, meeting new friends, learning a variety of things and adventure, are part of the attraction. Almost all scout leaders are volunteers too.
I have been a scout for more than 50 years and it has meant a lot to me. The reason for my deep involvement is that I have seen how important it is for young men and women to practice and develop leadership based on positive values. The work done voluntarily by the Scouts is fantastic and an inspiration to everybody.
In Haiti, the Scouts are just getting started on long-term projects to rebuild the country. The French Scouts are very active in the process. I know the Monegasque Scouts are involved as well, assisting with financial help together with their friends worldwide.
The situation in Darfur, in the Sudan, is another tragedy, and it was impressive for me to see what Scouts do there.
Fortunately most of the 30 million Scouts are not faced with disasters like these, but they are concerned about our planet.
Days like the ones we have lived through lately, suddenly dealing with volcanic ash, make us understand how vulnerable we all are as human beings in the face of the forces of our environment.
Nature and the out-of-doors activities have always been a fundamental part of a Scouting education. Therefore Scouts have long been active in protecting the environment, reducing consumption, recycling waste, clean-ups, tree-planting, etc. In recent years this work has intensified. Scouts are effective voices in carrying out messages to their families, schools and communities. We soon hope to launch a major new initiative on environmental education to make use of this youthful energy for even more action.
One of the vital aspects of Scouting is that Scouts everywhere — boys and girls - no matter race or religion — share Scouting values. There is enormous energy and pride in feeling that you are part of something important for the whole world. This helps build an attitude of tolerance and peace.
The Queen and I will have the opportunity to see this by ourselves next year in Sweden. About 30,000 Scouts will come from over 120 countries for the 22nd World Scout Jamboree to the outskirts of Kristianstad.
We should keep in mind that the first World Scout Jamboree was an innovation of our Founder just after World War I. He wanted to bring together young men from countries which had been mortal enemies. Our Jamboree will also bring together young people from countries in conflict with each other.
Scouts have the joy, energy, training and leadership skills to make a difference. And with tonight´s fundraising you will help more young people make a better world.
Thank you all for your contributions!