King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Princess Sofia have attended the annual Global Child Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. This year there was a special royal guest, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.
On Wednesday the 10th edition of the Global Child Forum was organised, this time at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Over 300 participants from around the world were invited to go into dialogue about children’s rights issues. The participants included the global corporations, financial institutions, the United Nations, people from the government and universities and the Royal Family, of course.
King Carl Gustaf opened the forum as he welcomed the participants with a speech. He talked about the past nine years of the Global Child Forum. He stated: “Over the past nine years, one thing has become increasingly clear to me: Business impacts children. And therefore, we must let children impact business.”
He especially stressed the importance of cooperation between different sectors when it comes to children’s rights. He said: “Businesses hold great power. But they do not operate in a vacuum. Whether large or small, they are part of a greater community. For children’s rights to be truly realised, collaboration is necessary. Companies, governments and civil society must work together, side by side.”
Several other people took the stage to speech as well. One of the most remarkable speakers this year was Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, sister-in-law to King Willem-Alexander. She founded Missing Chapter Foundation which is working to give children a voice in society.
After the speeches, it was time for round table discussions, called “action labs” with the 300 participants. Princess Sofia and Prince Daniel also took the time to listen at different tables.
Crown Princess Victoria concluded the forum meeting with a speech. As Special Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, she talked on how the SDG’s are linked to children’s rights. She said:
“During these two years, one thing has become increasingly clear to me: Children’s rights are not just part of the global goals. No: children’s rights are what the Global Goals are all about.
“Goal number one, no poverty, is for the child who is married off because her parents can’t afford to say no.
“Goal number 6, clean water and sanitation, is for the child who doesn’t get to go to school because she spends all day fetching water for her family.
“Goal number 16, peace, justice and strong institutions, is for all the children whose childhoods are taken away from them by violence and persecution.
“I could go on. But I think you see my point: that all Global Goals are, in fact, children’s rights goals. And the only way to successfully achieve one of them is by working on the others as well, they are all connected.”
Princess Madeleine usually attends the Global Child Forum as well, but she was absent this time as she gave birth to her third child, Princess Adrienne just over a month ago.
The Global Child Forum 2009 was founded by the Royal Family and is an independent platform that brings together world-leading stakeholders for an in-depth dialogue and increased understanding of children’s rights. The goal is to identify solutions for the most pressing issues with regard to companies ‘ ability to affect children’s rights.