(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
In 2009, the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child had its 20th anniversary.
At that time His Majesty the King and I took the initiative to create The Global Child Forum. A new kind of organization to improve the lives of children and young people.
The King and I have always had a keen interest in children’s future. Today, with our own growing family, we know how lucky we are. Living in a part of the world where there is peace, freedom and prosperity. And where children’s rights are - at least generally - respected.
We do not need to look further than the borders of Europe to see that this is not the case everywhere. War and conflict is destroying millions of lives. Children and young people are the first to be affected - and also the most vulnerable.
In ten years, the number of child refugees has more than doubled. Today, nearly one in 200 children is a child refugee. These children are not only uprooted from their homes. They are also likely to face violence, exploitation and separation from their families.
As global citizens and responsible human beings, we must do everything we can to protect the rights of children.
Governments can’t do everything. And traditional charity is not enough. Therefore, the Global Child Forum is about engaging you – the powerful business and finance sector – in creating a more sustainable future.
Our vision is to involve all actors of society. But with a special emphasis on the corporate sector.
Global Child Forum is a meeting place for leaders from all over the world to share knowledge and best practices. Thereby creating new and innovative ways to secure a future where children’s rights are respected.
Global Child Forum has had a good start. Together, we have achieved a lot over the years. And this is very much thanks to you – our main partners.
Thank you all for your support and constructive partnerships. And thank you for joining our meeting today. We have an urgent task ahead of us.
So, looking forward to your active participation, I welcome you all and hereby declare the meeting opened.