HM The King's opening speech at the Global Child Forum
The Royal Palace, Stockholm
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to the Royal Palace and the Hall of State!
This is the 10th Global Child Forum which has taken place every year in different places, not only here in Stockholm, but also in Kuala Lumpur, Pretoria, Dubai and São Paulo. Her Majesty and I have had the privilege of attending most of them.
Over the past nine years, one thing has become increasingly clear to me: Business impacts children. And therefore, we must let children impact business.
Leaders of the corporate and finance sectors are in a unique position to protect and advance children’s rights. And indeed, much is being done. Across the globe, many companies are making a positive difference for children.
Still, this is not good enough. The work for children’s rights is not keeping pace with the scale of challenges faced by children and young people today.
Businesses hold great power. But they do not operate in a vacuum. Whether large or small, they are part of a greater community.
For children’s rights to be truly realised, collaboration is necessary. Companies, governments and civil society must work together, side by side. That is why Her Majesty and I founded Global Child Forum – and why we have invited you here today.
I hope this Forum will be an opportunity for actors in and around the business sector to form new alliances. And, most importantly, an opportunity to take action!
Speakers, experts, delegates, supporters and friends, who have joined us from all over the world: Thank you for being here, for sharing your knowledge and your ideas. And a special thank you to our partners and collaborators, whose cooperation and friendship have made this Forum possible.
Once again: a warm welcome. Now, I am looking forward to a productive and rewarding day together.