The King is interviewed in connection with the World Child & Youth Forum
The King during the World Child & Youth Forum 2010. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Thursday 17 November, the second World Child & Youth Forum (WCYF) was held at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The WCYF was founded at the initiative of the Royal Family in 2010. The King gave an interview ahead of the WCYF.
Tell us about the background to the WCYF. The Forum is, of course, based on The Queen's great commitment to these issues. We've both worked to help young people for many years — me with the Scouts and The Queen with Childhood and Mentor. We wanted to do something together, something that would generate even more awareness for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Not every country has ratified the Convention yet. The Royal Palace is also a fantastic forum. I want the Palace to be a meeting place, somewhere where people can meet and talk together. We actually started with a seminar here at the Palace many years ago, when we brought together voluntary organisations who work to combat violence among children and young people. There are many organisations in Sweden, both large and small, but we were aware that there was no common meeting place. Together we can be stronger. You could say that the WCYF represents a continuation of this meeting. Your Majesty is involved in the Young Leadership Foundation together with the Scouts. How has that developed Your Majesty's own leadership? The Young Leadership Foundation is all about promoting young leaders, or young heroes as I call them. These are gifted young people who have done something extraordinary. Young leaders from the business community, the public sector and the voluntary sector who are rewarded. Leadership issues are constantly changing, not least through all the new technology. Here, of course, the different generations can learn from each other. The Young Leadership Foundation provides a real opportunity for leaders to develop and improve their leadership. We can all do this, and hopefully learn more from each other. The Queen has worked with Childhood and Mentor for many years. How has that affected Your Majesty's view of the rights of children and young people? Both The Queen and I have the opportunity to travel a great deal, both in Sweden and around the world. The Queen has, of course, talked about many of her own experiences and what she has seen of how organisations and others help and support young people. It's all about giving young people a fair start in life, and the right to their childhood and their youth. What kind of difference does Your Majesty hope the WCYF can make? I hope that it will be a meeting place for adults and young people. The start of a dialogue, where both "parties" can put forward their views and be heard. I hope that with the help of everyone who comes to the forum we will be able to reach out to even more, hopefully to many more than just those who come in person. Those who attend the seminar have a duty to share their new impressions and knowledge with their networks, schools and workplaces. Finally, I would like to express my pleasure at the fantastic commitment and the generosity that has made it possible to hold the forum. It shows that many people are interested and want to support such important issues relating to children and young people. You can read an interview with The Queen about the WCYF 2011 here. You can read an interview with The Crown Princess about the WCYF 2011 here. Visit the WCYF website here.