On Wednesday 15 November, The King and Queen, The Crown Princess and Princess Sofia took part in the Global Child Forum's annual Partners' Day together with the organisation's corporate and expert partners. The meeting was held in the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The King, who is the Global Child Forum's Honorary Chairman, opened the meeting in the Bernadotte Library and said:
"Basing our decisions on solid facts has always been important. But today, in a time of information overload, I believe it is more critical than ever. It is really quite simple: The better we know, the better we can do. Therefore, I am especially proud of Global Child Forum's efforts to collect and share knowledge and best practices concerning children's rights. The Children's Rights and Business Atlas, developed with UNICEF, is one fine example of this important work. Today's advisory board meeting is another example, as we will focus on what different sectors can learn from each other about improving the lives of children."
Read The King's speech here.
The Global Child Forum operates by carrying out research, presenting case studies, and bringing together leaders from businesses, authorities, academia and society to share information and learn from best practice from all parts of the world.
The morning's meeting, which included the participation of the organisation's corporate and expert partners, focused on what different sectors can learn from each other.
The Crown Princess was the first speaker at the meeting, in her capacity as an advocate for the UN's global sustainable development goals. In her speech, The Crown Princess mentioned that all 17 of the global goals – to which the world's leaders have committed – affect children's rights: "The most important thing to understand about the Global Goals is that they are not really a list of targets, but rather a network or a system. The only way to successfully achieve one goal is by working on the others as well. They cannot be ticked off one by one. Instead, they are all interlinked. [ … ] They are all – directly or indirectly – children's rights goals. And none of them can be achieved without the active participation of the private sector. [...] Companies operate globally and locally. They are employers, investors and suppliers. They have a significant presence in their local communities and in people's everyday lives. And as we all know, that is where real change takes place."
Read The Crown Princess's speech here.
The morning also featured examples of how GSMA, the telecommunications operators' international industry association, is working together with many network operators and hundreds of mobile systems companies with Agenda 2030. Other examples included how the banking sector supports the children's rights principles drawn up by UNICEF, Save the Children and the Global Compact, and has mapped its operations to ensure that children's rights are respected and to identify specific risk areas.
The discussions also addressed the importance of promoting children's rights issues and the global goals from being a matter of philanthropy to become part of businesses' core values.
The meeting was rounded off with a presentation of future forums and projects, as well as a presentation of the continued development of the Children's Rights and Business Atlas. This is an online atlas produced by the Global Child Forum in partnership with UNICEF, which helps businesses to be aware of risk factors in relation to children's rights within various industries.
The Queen brought the meeting to its conclusion by explaining how it all started. The driving force is the desire to spread knowledge about issues relating to the rights of children and young people, with the hope that children's rights should be a natural part of our society. The Queen also thanked Ulf Karlberg, who has been the Global Child Forum's Chairman of the Board for several years.
Read The Queen's speech here.
The Global Child Forum was initiated by the Royal Family in 2009, and is an independent platform that brings together world-leading players for in-depth dialogue and to raise awareness of children's rights. The aim is to identify solutions to the most pressing issues when it comes to businesses' opportunities to influence children's rights.