Crown Prince Haakon of Norway concludes today a three-day long visit to New York. His Royal Highness visited New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This is an organisation that the Crown Prince supports, and he has since 2003 been the organisation’s goodwill-ambassador. The UNDP has been fighting poverty worldwide the last 50 years.
On Tuesday, the Crown Prince held a speech during the dinner held in honour of UNDP. In his moving speech, Crown Prince Haakon told why he chose to engage in their work. Many years ago when the Crown Prince visited Durban, South Africa, he met a couple who were both HIV-positive. They could not afford medication and knew that they would soon die. The man he met was named Cedric, and right before the Crown Prince should leave Cedric took hold of the Crown Prince’s hand. Cedric had many children and did not know what was going to happen with those when he died. He said to the Crown Prince, “Please, do everything you can for people like me.” This was the event that inspired the Crown Prince to engage in humanitarian work.
The Crown Prince has, together with UNDP, visited ten different nations in Africa, Asia and South America. UNDP and the international community achieved have much through the Millennium goals. With sustainability goals, all countries, not just developing countries, have become a part of the promise. And we all have an opportunity to contribute to reaching today’s most ambitious goal: to end poverty by 2030.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit should also have been in New York, but she is ill and was advised to remain in Norway by her personal doctor. Crown Prince Haakon was recently in New York City with Crown Princess Mette-Marit before they began their visit to Canada at the beginning of November.