2010-10-14

H.M. The King's speech at a World Scout Foundation dinner, Ottawa, Thursday 14 October 2010

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Highness,
Dear Honours Programme Members,
Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to be here in Ottawa. Tonight is the first evening of the Ottawa Baden Powell Fellowship Event. We appreciate to share this evening with you, the members of the Foundation's Honours Programme.

We have heard tonight, two youth spokespersons for Scouts Canada. Their testimonials are good examples of how scouting works – not only here in Canada, but throughout the world.

We have got information recently from our scouts in Haiti, where following the earthquake disaster only two local volunteer groups were active throughout the country – the Red Cross, as you can imagine, and the Scouts of Haiti – altogether 42 000 volunteers!

And now, as they are entering the rehabilitation phase, scouts work on rebuilding communities. But they also address crucial social problems such as gang violence and even teenage rape. 

Canada is a great example of a scout association in growth. Over the years you have invested in training of local leaders, youth programmes for local groups and organisational development. You are constantly renewing yourselves.

Haiti also is a fine example of an organisation which is renewing itself. They have invested in training, youth programmes and organisational development.

I know I am preaching to the converted. You are all here tonight because you truly believe in scouting. You know it makes a difference to the world. And you also know that in order to make a greater impact, we need to match the volunteer spirit and energy of scouts in countries like Haiti, Rwanda, Salvador, or South Africa. We need to match their energy with much needed resources.

So thank you for what you have done to help up to now. But please don't leave it at that.  Please tell others what you have done. Tonight we welcome a great friend of Scouting – His Highness Prince Faisal, our "Scout Prince" from Saudi Arabia.

Prince Faisal has worked tirelessly to promote the work of scouting as a contribution to world peace.

Thank you, Your Highness, and thank you all for what you are doing!