(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning – Dobro jutro.
Prince Daniel and I are honoured to be here today.
The relations between our two countries are strong, and they are manifested in many ways; both at the level of states and between our citizens.
This friendship is also confirmed by the warmth and hospitality with which you have welcomed us on this visit. Thank you! Hvala Lijepo.
Over the years, the relationship between our countries has developed and deepened:
In the 1990’s, some 60,000 Bosnian refugees came to Sweden.
Many of them stayed to build new lives for themselves and their families. But with hard work and great resourcefulness, they also helped build Sweden into a stronger, more dynamic society.
Today there are approximately 100,000 people of Bosnian descent living in Sweden, including leading politicians, artists and athletes.
Since the 1990’s, our countries have worked together. We have moved from post-war reconstruction, to supporting your aspirations to become a member of the European Union.
Efforts within the areas of environment and climate are at the heart of the work that lies ahead of you to reach that goal.
The threats of climate change and environmental pollution are real, and they are in fact already claiming human lives.
Take air pollution, for example: a major cause of death and disease globally. Unfortunately also here, in your country.
I know that Bosnia and Herzegovina is taking measures to reduce both indoor and outdoor air pollution. A great effort, that Sweden is keen to support.
We should not underestimate the challenges ahead of us. But neither should we underestimate ourselves, and our ability to solve the problems we face.
This conference is precisely about that; about finding new and innovative ways to mitigate and adapt to the new climate reality.
It is an opportunity for policy and decision makers, for academia and business, for activists and the international community to meet and share visions and best practices.
New ideas, new technologies and new solutions are needed. And we need to work together, at all levels, to share knowledge and inspire each other.
When Prince Daniel and I travel to different parts of the world, representing Sweden, we often try to get a chance to meet with young people from the place that we are visiting.
Tomorrow, we will go to Trebevic to meet with teenagers participating in a workshop on environment. I am looking very much forward to it.
One thing often strikes me when I speak with this coming generation:
For them, climate change and pollution is not something we can choose to believe in or not.
It is not something that we can deal with later.
It is simply here and now – a reality that demands our immediate action.
Ladies and gentlemen. It is my sincere wish that you will all seize this opportunity to learn and share, and to create the basis for new ideas and alliances.
I truly believe that this is the only way forward: to face our challenges head on – and to do it together.
Thank you. Hvala Lijepo.