Crown Princess Mary of Denmark paid a visit to Vanuatu earlier this week, seeing firsthand the devastation brought by cyclones as she tours the Pacific to see the consequences of climate change in this part of the world.
The Danish Royal Court billed the visit to Vanuatu as one full of field visits to learn more about the crisis response after two cyclones and two earthquakes hit the island nation in short order, as well as reconstruction and rebuilding efforts.
Her visit included meetings with government officials, including Vanuatu’s President Nikenike Vurobaravu and Prime Minister H.E. Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau.
Her Royal Highness also visited Pele Island to see the impact of natural disasters and the relief provided by its citizens in cooperation with the UN Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility.
In Estas, the Crown Princess learned how initiatives for women have been supporting those in the community, and saw how rebuilding efforts have shaped up following devastating cyclones in the area.
In a speech at the University of the South Pacific’s Vanuatu campus, Crown Princess Mary spoke of local law students who’d drafted a climate policy that was later adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, “What a remarkable achievement and one that you should be very proud of. It illustrates how making your voice heard can influence those in power, to make change.”
Crown Princess Mary’s visit to Vanuatu, Fiji and Australia began on 23 April and continues through to the 28th. She is accompanied by Minister Dan Jørgensen from the Department of Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy.
In Fiji, Crown Princess Mary has been accompanied by the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. Her visit in Fiji is to learn how climate change disasters have an effect on sexual and gender-based violence and how the healthcare system supports women.
On 28 April, Crown Princess Mary will visit Sydney, Australia, for a green business-based visit in support of Danish companies in Australia who lead green programmes and projects.