It is wonderful to be back in Seoul, where I feel very much that I am among friends. The Korean Scout Movement has contributed a lot to developing the world's largest youth Movement these past years. It is indeed impressive what you have done.
You have inspired hundreds of thousands of young men and women to grow as leaders. I remember when you hosted a wonderful and very well organized World Scout Jamboree in 1994. Now The World Scout Conference is going to take place in your country in July this year. Thank you so much for doing a great job!
In the past year, we have celebrated the centenary of Scouting. The movement has been scrutinized, not least by us, the old timers´ of the movement.
And we have liked what we have seen! After a hundred years, Scouting is still as relevant and as exciting to young people, as it was when it first started in the early 20th century.
All over the world we have met young men and women, sharing the belief that they are going to change the world together. And, you know, I believe them!
I believe them because I have seen so many examples of Scouting having an impact on society, one step at a time. In Cape Town last year for example, I was introduced to Scouting as a safe haven for youngsters, getting away from the gang violence and fear, a light of hope for young people in the scout uniform. For young people sharing common values.
In Saudi Arabia, we recently met scouts celebrating the success of the Gifts for Peace programme which started there and after that has involved 10 million scouts in 110 countries ...
In Sweden I meet scouts working together with Swedish industry, to help to accelerate the development of leadership skills among young people.
This world needs more leaders who are prepared to stand up and defend their values, their ideas. The Scout Movement is an excellent green house for preparing these young plants for real life.
I mentioned earlier that Korea will host the World Scout Conference. I look to you, Mr. Khang, and to Philippe and Luc and wish you good luck in your work of inspiring the leaders of 160 scout organizations all around the world. Make sure you do your job well — 28 million young scouts are dependent on your success! I have confidence in you.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank our dear friend,
Mr. Suk Won Kim, who has taken care of us so well during these days. Your work and your dedication to Scouting is a great example to all of us. Thank you so much!
Tonight we are pleased to be able to set a new record when we welcome a total of 61 new Baden Powell Fellows. Thank you all for your generosity and trust in Scouting. I wish to welcome you to a wonderful journey with us, your fellow scouts. I am sure you will never regret your decision to join our family.
Please, do as we, the old timers´ do: enjoy helping young people, inspired by Scouting, help change the world. You will have your very first chance tomorrow, to witness this more in detail when we will visit with scouts here in Seoul.
I just want to tell you one thing:
Be prepared to be active and have fun!