(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Dear Baden-Powell Fellows and Friends,
The last Fellowship Event in Seoul was in 2008. It is a great pleasure to be back again in the service of Scouting!
I remember when I was in Korea for the World Scout Jamboree in 1991 – staying in a tent in the middle of the camp at the Seoraksan National Park. We were about 20 000 participants. And though it all started with rains and floods, it was great fun and I believe all of us remember it fondly.
President Moon Jae-in has pledged his support to make the 2023 jamboree a great success.
I am glad to see the Korea Scout Association is doing so well – and also, to see so many friends and supporters of Scouting gathered at this Dinner!
Many new Baden-Powell Fellows and Honours Programme upgrades have been recognized on this stage tonight.
I hope you all know that your support makes a great difference: Not just for millions of Scouts and Guides – but also for the people they help, in community service projects all over the world.
Since 2013, we have been able to count how many hours of service Scouts have been delivering. Today, this amounts to an incredible 1,2 billion hours of service, in millions of projects, covering all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
What’s more, World Scouting has committed to delivering another 3 billion hours of service to these Goals by 2030. So we can look forward to many more stories like the ones we heard yesterday at the Foundation’s Investor Seminar.
I have served in the World Scout Foundation for 42 years – quite a long time. Still, I never tire of hearing how Scouts face great challenges with courage, compassion and determination. These young people are an inspiration – for all of us!
Back home in Sweden, when I take my dog for a walk in the nearby forest, I often meet local scout troops at their scout cabin. It is always a great pleasure. And when I see them in action, working together in their scout activities, I see the leaders of tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen. At World Scout Foundation, we want all investments in Scouting to make a change that lasts in the long-term. Therefore, our method has always been to empower local Scouts and their community groups. We rely on local resources, local leadership and local support.
And the results? Well, the examples are here among you, as all of yesterday’s speakers are here at the Dinner.
And there are millions more like them, round the world, working hard to maximise the impact of your involvement.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for your continued investment in Scouting!