Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Crown Princess Victoria in Japan - Day 2.

Photo:  Jessica Gow/TT
The Crown Princess's second day in Tokyo began with a visit to an Aeon supermarket. Aeon is Japan's leading retail group, which operates malls, department stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. 
The company is one of Japan's key actors in sustainable fishing, and they are actively working to integrate sustainability aspects into their purchasing policies for fish and shellfish.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
During the afternoon, the Crown Princess participated in a seminar on the UN Global Sustainability Goal, organised by UN University in Tokyo. The theme of the seminar was the promotion of the UN's global sustainability goals with a particular focus on sustainable seas.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
The Crown Princess gave the following speech:

Your Imperial Highness,Rector, Ladies and Gentlemen. Just over 60 years ago, Japan joined the United Nations as its 80th member: Secretary-General at the time was Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat with a great interest in Japanese poetry. His diary notes, published after his death, contained 110 haiku inspired poems. At the time of Dag Hammarskjöld’s secretary-generalship, the environment was barely on the UN agenda. It was an age of ecological innocence. Today, we know better. Today, we know that environmental crime – like poaching, wildlife trafficking and illicit fishing – is a global security issue. We know that the effects of climate change affect poor countries to a greater extent than richer parts of the world. And we need only to open a newspaper to read about drought-related violence killing men, women and children. The facts are there, in plain sight. The question is: how do we act upon them? I would like to quote something that the UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld said at the University of Chicago in 1960. In a speech that he would later refer to as his “confession of faith”, he stated:“Working at the edge of the development of human society is to work on the brink of the unknown”.  He added that much of what is done will one day prove to have been of little avail. But, he said, there is no excuse for the failure to act in accordance with our best understanding. Our best understanding. The facts on the table. A year and a half ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and its 17 global goals. This was a major achievement by the member states. I am convinced that Japan, with its long history of great contributions to the work in the UN, will be a force to reckon with in the years to come. All my life, I have had the privilege to live near the water. My most precious childhood memories are connected to the sea. So when I had the honour to be appointed as Advocate for the global sustainable development goals, it was an obvious choice for me to focus on issues related to water and health. It is this commitment that has brought me to Japan - and to this seminar here at the UN University. Today, we are going to talk about sustainable oceans. But what we are really talking about is our ability to feed a growing global population. Fish is the largest source of animal protein in the world. But almost 60 percent of all stocks are already fully fished. 30 percent are even overfished. Let there be no doubt: the situation is urgent! The figures can be overwhelming. But let us remember: together, we have a superpower. The power of consumer demand. The choices we make in our everyday lives have enormous impact on the future of our planet. As consumers, we have a right to know and an obligation to ask. We need to let producers know that we want the right choice to be the easy choice. So please, let us make use of that superpower! Today and every day. Dag Hammarskjöld spoke about working on the brink of the unknown. Today, just like then, we have more questions than we have answers about the future.  Will we be able to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius? Will we succeed in our efforts to end poverty and hunger?And will future generations thank us for what we did, or blame us for not doing more?  The truth is, we don’t know. But we do know that Dag Hammarskjöld was right: We all have a moral obligation to act in accordance with our best understanding. And right now, that means doing everything we can to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda. This is not only our obligation; it is our only option. Thank you.
During the seminar discussions about the global goals were held, how young people can be inspired to contribute to the achievement of the goals and the state of the world.

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
The seminar is linked to the forthcoming UN conference The Ocean Conference, held in June in New York. Sweden and Fiji have jointly taken the initiative to support the work of saving the world's ocean and achieving the global sustainable development target for marine and marine resources, Objective 14 of the UN Agenda 2030.

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
The Crown Princess's day ended with a dinner together with Princess Takamado of Japan.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Crown Princes Victoria in Japan - Day 1.

Photo: TT
From Tuesday 18 april to Friday 21 april, Crown Princess Victoria is on a visit to Japan. The trip aims to deepen the Crown Princess's work in sustainability, marine and fishing issues - issues that the Crown Princess as an ambassador for the UN global sustainability has chosen to focus in particular

The Crown Princess began her visit in Tokyo with a lunch with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan.
Photo: TT
Afterwards, the Crown Princes visited the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo where a meeting was held about Japan's efforts on sustainability issues.
Photo: Swedish embassy in Tokyo
The day ended with a reception at the Swedish Embassy for Japanese fishing companies and fishing experts. The meeting was a follow up of the Soneva Dialogue, held in the Maldives in November 2016, where multinational companies in the fishing and aquaculture took part along with leading scientists from both Europe and North America and Asia.

During the reception, the Crown Princess held a speech and said:

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to be here tonight.
Some of you I have met before. Some of you are new acquaintances, who I am looking forward to getting to know.
I brought with me, here tonight, this small plant of pine. It can be seen as a symbol of my country.
This little plant will need to grow for about 80 to 90 years before it is ready to fell.
So planting it is not something you do for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren. It is an investment for future generations.
Now, you may wonder, why am I talking to you about forests?
It is because I believe that there is a common ground between Swedish forestry and Japanese fishery.
They are both national industries that have been around for many, many generations. They are foundations of national prosperity, closely linked to our respective histories and cultures. And thanks to ground-breaking innovation and research, they are globally competitive.
This little plant is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, but it holds opportunities greater than we can imagine today.
The forest is a renewable resource with remarkable capacity. But like with all renewable resources, we need to manage it in a wise and sustainable way. Otherwise, we will no longer be able to make a living from it.
Fish is the largest source of animal protein in the world. Half of it comes from aquaculture, the other half is ocean harvested. There is a strong worldwide demand for good and affordable fish and seafood.
But to a growing extent, consumers are asking for more:
They want to know that their food is healthy, that it does not contain harmful substances, and that it has been produced in a way that does not threaten endangered species.
So there are strong reasons to act now to meet future global consumer demand. And, ultimately, to secure the conditions for a thriving seafood industry.
Sustainability is not a corporate buzz word. Sustainability is competitive.
In November, leaders of the global seafood industry held a dialogue meeting – the Soneva Dialogue – to discuss risks and opportunities connected to the state of our oceans. Some of you were there. And so was I.
The Dialogue resulted in a joint statement. The keystone actors have identified a number of areas that they will address together in order to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This is a major step forward! Moving from words to action.
Like this plant, the unique partnership founded in November has all the potential to develop into something strong and solid; something to build on for the future. But this will demand your effort, your commitment and your hard work.
For decades and centuries, your companies have been pioneers of the sea. I urge you now to grasp the opportunity to maintain that leadership.
I welcome you to the next dialogue meeting in Stockholm in May. I hope to see many of you there.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Crown Princess Victoria's 40th birthday celebrations.

Photo: Pure People

On 14 July 2017 HRH Crown Princess Victoria celebrates her 40th birthday. The celebrations will take place in Stockholm on Friday 14 July and on Öland on Saturday 15 July.

Friday 14 July - Stockholm

The Crown Princess' birthday celebrations start at 10 a.m. with a thanksgiving service, Te Deum, in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace. Invited guests are the immediate family, representatives of the Riksdag, the Government and official Sweden, as well as the staff of the Royal Court.
After the thankgsgiving service a reception will be held in the Palace garden, Logården, for the guests present at Te Deum.
At 12 noon the Armed Forces will fire gun salutes from Skeppsholmen, as well as from the salute batteries in Boden, Härnösand, Karlskrona, and Gothenburg.
At 1 p.m. the celebrations in Stockholm end with the Crown Princess Family being escorted from the Royal Palace to the Royal Stables in a horse drawn carriage.

Friday 14 July - Borgholm
The Crown Princess' birthday celebrations will continue at Borgholms IP in the presence of the Royal Family. The festivities at Borgholms IP begin at 7 p.m. 

Saturday 15 July - Solliden
At around 11 a.m., the day after the birthday, the celebrations will end with The King and Queen and The Crown Princess Couple meeting the people gathered in front of Solliden Palace. The gates to Solliden Palace Park open at 8.30 a.m.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Service in memory of the victims of the Stockholm attack.

This Monday morning, the King and Queen, The Crown Princess Couple and Prince Couple attended Stockholm's official ceremony at the City Hall in honor of the victims of the attack of the 7th April.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the official Sweden.

At 12.00, a national minute of silence was held for those affected by the attack. The Army Band played Segnale Solenne and the two flags fluttered at half-mast was hoisted on top.
During the ceremony, Finance Commissioner Karin Wanngård, Finance County Commissioner Irene Svenonius and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven spoke and praised Stockholm's residents and authorities that set up help and support in many ways and showed great humanity.

The ceremony ended with the band playing all the heavens.