HM The Queen's greeting to the 54th congress in AEPC, Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Dear Doctors, Nurses and all Allied Health Care Professionals,

Depending on where they are born, children grow up under very different circumstances. And yet, they all have the same basic rights...

I have understood that over the years, great success has been accomplished when it comes to the possibility to treat complex congenital heart defects, already in new-born babies.

This is a wonderful development, of great importance for millions of children and their families.

However, we still have a long way to go until all children born with a congenital heart disease are given the optimal care that they need and that they, in fact, have the right to.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to “the highest attainable standard of health, and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health”.

To achieve the realization of that right, international co-operation is absolutely crucial. Therefore, I am especially pleased to see that this meeting is not only European, but international. I also notice that your State of the Art lecture puts forward the global perspective of heart disease in children.

Let us hope that your efforts to connect health care professionals from all over the world, the way you are doing today, will eventually lead to significant improvements in the cardiac care of all children, also in the developing world.

It is a great honour that this congress is organized here in Sweden, and I sincerely hope it will be a great success.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your important work to develop the care of children with heart disease, I hereby declare the 54th Annual Meeting of the AEPC open!