HRH The Crown Princess' speech at UNDP's reception
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First, let me express how grateful I am to the Crown Prince of Norway, for the opportunity to conduct this visit together. It is most appreciated, and I am excited that I get to share this experience with my friend and colleague.
(You know, the last time Crown Prince Haakon and I travelled abroad together, we were on an icebreaker ship in the Arctic sea. Quite a different setting this time, but just as exciting!)
I would also like to thank the UNDP Kenya for hosting this event! And a very special thank you to you, First Lady Rachel Ruto, for being with us here today.
I am so happy to finally be back in Kenya again, and to have such an interesting and ambitious program for this visit. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who has had a role in the preparations.
Today’s programme more than fulfilled my expectations – thank you for inspiring meetings with the UN and UNDP teams, and for today’s visits to both Adenian Labs and Kitengela Waste Management Entrepreneurship Hub.
Our visit takes place shortly after Kenya’s successful elections, which have provided hope for the region’s democratic transition.
At the same time, Kenyan economy is contending with multiple shocks including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing drought and the high cost of living caused by various conflicts around the globe.
Vulnerable populations across Kenya have become even more vulnerable, and a strong engagement by the United Nations will be vital to address their growing needs.
Sweden is proud to be a strong and long-term partner to Kenya. Our bilateral partnership includes substantial development cooperation, as well as increasing exchange in other areas such as trade. I am hopeful that this will contribute to address some of the challenges faced by the Kenyan people due to the unforeseen and external shocks.
In my role as an advocate emerita for the Sustainable Development Goals I am particularly pleased that the UN family, including UNDP, plays such a big part in this partnership.
Today, the world is dealing with a series of complex, overlapping crises.
Despite the many challenges, Kenya has remained a champion of environmental sustainability, climate action, the blue economy, innovation, democratic governance and more – both globally and regionally.
It is encouraging to know, and to see, that the UN family stands ready to support Kenya on its’ onwards journey towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the context of this visit I would like to thank the Government of Kenya for its unwavering commitment to the United Nations system and for its outstanding efforts to advance sustainable human development for all in Kenya.
“For all”: Two small words, but of great importance.
The empowerment of women, youth, and marginalised groups is a prerequisite for sustainable human development. We must ensure their full participation in political processes and foster citizen engagement.
I would like to recall the five P’s of the 2030 Agenda: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships. While these are all valuable guiding elements for our continued work here in Kenya and globally, there remains no doubt in my mind that People are at the centre of everything we want to achieve.
It is only by engaging with people and by empowering people that we will see transformative change. I am pleased that the UN family has integrated this perspective of “people” in its joint programme of work for Kenya.
Sweden, together with many other actors in the international community, looks forward to continuing to work with you in the pursuit of the SDGs here in Kenya.