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Crown Prince Haakon: “Nothing is more important for development than peace”

On Monday, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway arrived for a visit to Colombia. The Crown Prince was invited to the country because he is a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Program (UNDP). The visit to Colombia was not announced by the royal court until Monday morning, for security reasons.

The Crown Prince has, during his stay, attended a breakfast meeting with Colombia’s Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo. They discussed developments in the country and UNDP’s role in Colombia. The two also talked about the relationship between Norway and Colombia, and the Norwegian support for peace work.

Crown Prince Haakon took good time to learn as much as possible about the nation and the conflicts that Colombia is struggling with. Photo: Eivind Oskarson / UN-Press Office / UNDP

Norway’s Crown Prince also visited the peace monument in Fragmentos as well as meeting some of those affected by civil conflict in the country. Also present were the leaders of the institutions dealing with justice for the victims. Crown Prince Haakon attended a short ceremony where candles and flowers were laid to remember those affected.

Crown Prince Haakon also met Colombia’s President Iván Duque, in the Presidential Palace. The Crown Prince told the president: “If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing is more important for development than peace. And that genuine, inclusive development for all is crucial to lasting peace”.

In his work as a goodwill ambassador for UNDP, Crown Prince Haakon has focused specifically on the UN’s sustainability goals, and in particular goal one: to eradicate poverty. Lasting peace is a prerequisite for reaching both this and many of the other sustainability goals, while development is crucial for lasting peace.

The Crown Prince speaks to victims of the civil war. Photo: Eivind Oskarson / UN-Press Office / UNDP

Crown Prince Haakon was appointed as a UNDP Ambassador in 2003. During the first 12 years, he worked to promote the Millennium Development Goals, which were evaluated and completed in 2015. Then, the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UNDP has been fighting poverty worldwide for the last 50 years. During his time as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP, the Crown Prince has been on working trips to Liberia in 2017, East Timor in 2015, Tanzania in 2014, Zambia in 2013, Haiti in 2012, Nepal in 2011, Botswana in 2009, Mongolia in 2008, Burundi in 2007, Guatemala in 2006 and Sierra Leone in 2005.

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