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Officially opened OECD Week

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon travelled to Paris on 27–28 May to visit the headquarters of UNESCO and to participate in the OECD Forum, which is held each year in conjunction with the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. This year’s forum is entitled “It’s All About People: Jobs, Equality and Trust”, and the meeting is being chaired by Norway.

28.05.2013

In his opening remarks, the Crown Prince focused on the topic of trust, and its importance for building a flourishing society:

“Now, let’s move to one of this session’s central topics: Trust. Trust is essential to community, economic interaction and democracy. If a substantial proportion of people – especially young people – lack trust in relationships, in society and in institutions, it will become harder to build robust and viable societies. Trust develops on the basis of people’s experiences and expectations. If you have a feeling of being treated fairly and with respect – by people, institutions or governments, then you are more likely to trust them.”

He then pointed to the uniqueness of schools as institutions and the central role that schools play in building trust among young people:

“For young people, schools and the education system will play an essential role in fostering trust – or in the worst case – mistrust.”

OECD Forum

Later in the day, Crown Prince Haakon spoke at a lunch debate entitled “The Power of One”, which focused on the role of the social media and the high degree of trust in these media among the general public at a time when trust in politicians and leaders of trade and industry is declining.

The OECD Forum brings together decision-makers from the political and business spheres, non-governmental organisations and academia to discuss various issues and provide input for the Ministerial Meeting. This year the forum’s issues are: promoting inclusive growth, rebuilding trust, and fostering sustainability.

Norwegian chairmanship

The OECD Forum is directly followed by the annual Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, where Norway has the chairmanship this year. The OECD Forum and the Ministerial Meeting are often referred to collectively as OECD Week.

The Crown Prince met with the Norwegian OECD delegation, which is stationed at Château de la Muette, the headquarters of the OECD in Paris. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has its roots in the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), which was established to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Today the OECD has 34 member countries and eight observer countries.

Visited UNESCO

On Monday, 27 May, Crown Prince Haakon visited UNESCO House, the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, where he met with Director-General Irina Bokova. Former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland was in attendance as well.

The Crown Prince had the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of UNESCO House and a presentation on the UNESCO works of art collection.