(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we celebrate the memory of a great man and his work. By acting against injustice and for human rights, Raoul Wallenberg earned his place in history. But the values he stood for – humanity and civil courage – are more than history: they are indeed highly relevant today.
Raoul Wallenberg’s sister, Nina Lagergren, was devoted to the idea of giving young people the opportunity to grow and to understand the importance of humane leadership. In 2001, she co-founded the Raoul Wallenberg Academy.
Nina Lagergren – who was a dear friend of my family – lived a long and full life, passing away two years ago at the age of 98. If she had been alive, she would have turned 100 this year.
While I wish that Nina Lagergren would have been with us here today, I am glad that she got to experience how well the Academy, where Nina’s relatives are also involved, carries on her brother’s legacy.
Over the past two decades, the Academy has educated young people in the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg. And it is a great honour for me to be part of today’s celebration of “Young Courage.”
Dear young laureates: each one of you have, in various ways, demonstrated the power of action – small and large.
You have shown that just like Raoul Wallenberg, you, your commitment and your moral courage can make a real difference.
And by doing that, you give me – and all of us – reason to feel hope.
My warmest congratulations to all of you, and also to the Raoul Wallenberg Academy on its first 20 years.
The best of luck in the future!