2010-11-19

H.M. The King's welcome speech at the World Child & Youth Forum, the Royal Palace of Stockholm, 19 November 2010

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Ministers,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Children and young people,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Royal Palace of Stockholm!
 
I believe that the World Child & Youth Forum is an important and inspiring event.
 
I spoke about the Forum in my annual Christmas speech almost one year ago. In that speech I recounted how I, The Queen and the rest of our family often talk about how we could contribute towards improving living conditions for children and young people as they grow up. One possibility could be a new meeting place here at the Royal Palace.
 
We envisage a forum where representatives from various areas of society and various ages can come together.
This offers the chance to forge new contacts and develop ideas. It provides an opportunity for inspiring discussions about children's right to a healthy childhood, as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The aim is to find solutions to how we can all contribute to improving conditions for children and young people, both in Sweden and around the world.
 
We are happy that you all chose to come here today. Together, you represent the cornerstones of society that are important in different ways for children and young people.
 
I have been involved in the Scout Movement for many years, and Her Majesty the Queen has established the World Childhood Foundation and Mentor Foundation. It is therefore very pleasing that this Forum, the purpose of which is to strengthen child rights, is taking place at the Royal Palace. We are seeing the fulfilment of a long-held wish.
 
We have invited speakers to come here today to share their significant experience of working with children and young people and their rights.
We want to help and contribute towards spreading knowledge and inspiration about these important issues. We hope this day will be both memorable and inspirational for everyone.

To this inaugural Forum we have also invited the diplomatic corps in Sweden in order to spread the work of the Forum internationally, if possible, and the important issues it deals with.
 
The more people that work with a common issue, the stronger we become.

Once again, welcome to the Royal Palace. I hereby declare the World Child & Youth Forum open.
 
I now give the floor to Her Majesty the Queen.