HRH The Crown Princess' opening speech at a meeting with SeaBOS
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would have loved to be able to welcome all of you to Stockholm today. But instead, let me say how glad I am that we are able to meet like this, instead.
And a special welcome to those of you that are with us for the first time.
My own first meeting within the SeaBOS initiative was the Keystone Dialogue in the Maldives in November 2016. Today, three and a half years later, it is a great pleasure to see you - our community of collaborative change makers keeps on growing!
Right now, the world is the middle of a pandemic that is affecting all of our lives. I fully understand that as leading seafood companies, you have many other, pressing matters to tend to at this time.
Still, you have chosen to be here today. And that means a lot.
Your participation in this meeting is evidence of your true and long-term commitment to SeaBOS; to a sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.
Thanks to you, we can keep pushing ahead, despite everything else going on right now.
Some of you are here for the first time. Some of you have attended several meetings – perhaps even every single meeting!
We are on a long journey together. We have visited far-away places together. Now, we are meeting virtually together. These next few days, you will define some resting places for this journey – some goals and timelines that you will be walking towards, working towards.
We still have a long way to go to an entirely sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean. However, I urge you to remind yourself about how far you have come – how far we have come.
We are all here today. SeaBOS is a legal entity, with its own funding and with a managing director. Welcome Martin!
And during these last couple of years we have seen many signs of real progress. Progress, that inspires hope, and where SeaBOS has played an instrumental part.
First of all, you, the companies, have started to transform your businesses. And not just by statements, but by investing time, money and effort.
You are showing the world that the keystone actor model works; A small group of large companies teaming up with science, setting new norms, creating change throughout an entire industry.
SeaBOS company representatives, wherever you are: You are the ones who are making companies change. You are the ones who help advance the bold commitments from the Maldives, who collect all the relevant information and who make sure that your company can report on progress. If it wasn’t for you, there would be no real change!
To all of you scientists engaged in this initiative: You have been instrumental for establishing this initiative, and you continue to provide critical support through this collaboration. You are also providing valuable input in ocean policy development all over the world; in national legislation as well as in global efforts within the Agenda 2030 framework.
And, last but definitely not least: SeaBOS has established a new narrative for the private sector. The metaphor of stewardship is gaining traction. One example is the upcoming report from the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform. The name of the report? “Ocean Stewardship 2030”.
The metaphor of stewardship is extremely powerful. Why? I believe it is because it gives corporate actors an opportunity to re-negotiate their purpose. Maybe even their identity. From producers of goods to stewards of the planet; that is indeed no small step.
Dear friends. It takes courage to make the right decisions; especially when those decisions are difficult, uncomfortable, or sometimes expensive. But that is what true leaders do. They lead by example. That is what you do. And I am immensely proud to be part of your initiative.
Now, I look forward to seeing what you will achieve during the three days that we have ahead of us. I wish you the best of luck, and a productive and successful meeting.