(The spoken version shall take precedence)
President, Prime Minister,
Stockholm Water Prize Laureate,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last week, the Queen and I returned home from Brazil. There we attended the Summer Olympics and visited the Queen’s family.
Brazil is a wonderful country. It is also home of one of the most precious ecosystems in the world: the Amazon.
Its rainforests are the largest in the world. They are the lungs of our planet. The water is its bloodstream. It is critical to the well-being of all of us.
Unfortunately, the Amazon is also one of many examples of vital eco-systems being threatened by human disturbances.
We, the global community, have a shared responsibility. We need to understand this responsibility – and embrace it.
Caring about the environment is not just a matter of ethics. It is an act of survival.
Four years ago, leaders from around the world came together at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. There, we launched a process to develop the Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, in Paris, another important step was taken with the adoption of the climate agreement.
Together, we have decided what kind of a future we want for our children and grandchildren. Now, we need to follow through. We have great challenges ahead. And to succeed, water will be a key factor.
Access to clean and healthy water is in fact essential for us to be able to achieve nearly every one of the Sustainable Development goals. And also to master the challenges that climate change presents.
Therefore, I am proud that Stockholm once again acts as host for the World Water Week. And it is a little extra festive this year, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize!
This week, we have the opportunity to come together. To learn from each other. And to be inspired by new ideas and ground-breaking innovation.
I urge you all to seize this opportunity, and make the most of your stay here in Sweden.
Now, I would like to turn to this year’s recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, Professor Joan Rose.
Like few other scholars, you have combined science with encouragement. You have taught us that everyone can make a difference. And that our shared responsibility is not only a duty, but also a gift.
Professor Rose: Congratulations on your achievements. And thank you for your tireless contributions to global public health.
Thank you also to the President of the Stockholm City Council for hosting this banquet tonight, and to SIWI for organizing yet another fantastic World Water Week.
I want to propose a toast:
To the future we want!