(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia,
Your Royal Highness Princess Haya,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to thank you all for participating in today's Global Child Forum.
It has been a great pleasure to be with you today, very inspiring indeed!
I have learnt so much and I have also met many new friends and very interesting people with great ideas and plans for action.
Today, I have seen very clearly, how little it actually takes to help a child - all of us here can make a real difference; as a powerful nation, as a powerful organization and as a private person as well!
We just have to do it! We just have to implement the rights of the child!
Companies and financial institutions can, and often do, work in ways that strengthen children’s rights. But companies and financial institutions can also have a negative impact on children’s situation. Business leaders are often not aware of the harm they can do to children by their decisions. But ignorance is no excuse. Due diligence is an obligation. It’s very important to make sure that the enterprises implement children’s rights in their operations and strategies and involve their employees in how to protect children.
When corporations act as responsible social partners they generate greater wealth for all in the longer term - as we have seen today. A true focus on children’s rights and development is unquestionably the single best investment any economic actor can make – whether it is a company, bank or a government.
Opportunities for dialogue, like this meeting today, help us look forward as a global community. Investing in children is necessary to build pluralistic and inclusive societies, which is the foundation for future development of prosperity and peace.
And there is no better time to do this than now, as we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It has been an exciting day, filled with interesting and challenging ideas generated by all of you who are determined to change the world to the better for children.
I am thankful for your commitment and touched by your idealism and professionalism.
As webring this Forum to a close, I leave you with the thought that we should all ask ourselves: What can I do personally that advances the cause of children? Not only in the long term future but tomorrow and next week. Finally I would like to express my special gratitude to you Your Royal Highness The Ruler of Dubai, to you, Your Royal Highness Princess Haya, to the people of Dubai and in the MENA region that have made this Forum in the United Arab Emirates possible. I also want to thank His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development for being the Patron of a certainly most enjoyable cultural event, which I am looking very much forward to. My sincere wish is that all of you gathered here today, will join hands to make the implementation of the Rights of the Child a reality.
Thank you for all your support and good cooperation you have given Global Child Forum.