2021-09-09

HRH Crown Princess Victoria's opening speech at the European Society of International Law Conference, Stockholm, 9 September 2021

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Dear Participants,

Respect for human rights.
Sanctioning of international crimes.
Protection of the environment, and promotion of peace.

An interest in these issues is often what leads young people to pursue a career in international law.

It is probably what brought you here today.

And it is also what led me, more than 20 years ago, to study conflict resolution and international peace-building.

So when I was invited to today’s inauguration by Professor Pål Wrange, whom I know since many years, I was delighted to say yes.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sweden has a long tradition of dedication to international law:

Since its inception, UN has been a cornerstone of the Swedish foreign policy. Already in the early years of the United Nations, the Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld served as the UN Secretary-General during one of the most turbulent periods of the Organisation’s history and scarified his life in the service of peace.

Raoul Wallenberg, Alva Myrdal and my own relative Folke Bernadotte are other examples of well-known Swedes whose work has had great impact on the development of international humanitarian law and the law of disarmament.

Furthermore, Sweden has pioneered efforts to develop international legal rules in several areas that have needed global regulations. In 1972, almost 50 years ago, the UN Conference on Human Environment was held here in Stockholm and the Stockholm Declaration was adopted; the first international document to recognize the right to a healthy environment.

Given this background, Sweden and Stockholm seems to be an ideal setting for this important conference.

Dear participants. Whether you are attending the conference physically or virtually, I hope that the coming days will offer you plenty of opportunities to gain new insights and make new connections that will benefit your work. I wish all of you the best of luck!

And now, it is my honour to declare the 16th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law, open.

Thank you.