Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has attended the annual summit organized by the Central Association of Local Authorities in Norway. This year, due to the corona-pandemic, the event was held digitally. Municipal leaders and mayors from all of Norway participated in the event on March 2nd 2021.
In his speech, His Royal Highness said: “The Central Association of Local Authorities is one of our key organizations. The municipal policy summit is the sector’s most important meeting place, and it clearly sets the agenda. So thank you for the invitation to talk about something I am really passionate about; that young people can feel a sense of belonging to the society of which they are a part. This year, the summit is extra important. The pandemic has put an end to too much. No one has gone untouched through this time, and many have had a hard time.”
The vast majority of young people in Norway are still doing well. The Crown Prince Regent wanted to focus on young people who fall outside work, education and activity. Due to the global pandemic nearly 120,000 young people in Norway under the age of 30 are out of work and school. The Crown Prince Regent spoke to the municipal sector about how young people can feel a sense of belonging to the society of which they are a part in this hard time.
The Crown Prince Regent continued: “Norwegian municipalities and county municipalities are the main factor of the solid welfare society we have. All of you who work with young people play an incredibly important role. It is you, who in collaboration with many other good forces, hold the keys to make all young people feel that they are part of a community where they can use their resources. Communities that see them and need them. Thank you for the important work you do every single day.”
Earlier his year, Crown Prince Haakon invited 16-year-old Vilde Walderhaug from Drammen and 18 years old Josué Illunga Kongolo from Søndre Land for a walk in the streets of the capital, Oslo, to learn more about their struggles and for a deeper conversation about exclusion. The conference participants got to see and hear the conversation that had been recorded on video prior to the conference. The young people talked about the importance of low-threshold leisure activities for young people, the opportunity to explore what you are good at, the need to calm down stress and pressure from all sides and how important it is that adults listen more to young people when deciding how things are.