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In focus: International activities

The Crown Prince is active in the international sphere, and his interest in development issues dates back to his time as a university student. 

An important part of the Crown Prince’s international activities is his work for UNDP.

Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP

Crown Prince Haakon was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP in 2003. In the first 12 months he worked to promote the UN Millennium Development Goals, which were evaluated and concluded in 2015. Then the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and manage climate change by 2030. The agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and in his role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP he is dedicated to working in particular with Goal Number 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

During his term as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP, the Crown Prince has conducted field trips to Kenya (2022), Colombia (2019), Liberia (2017), East-Timor (2015), Tanzania (2014), Zambia (2013), Haiti (2012), Nepal (2011), Botswana (2009), Mongolia (2008), Burundi (2007), Guatemala (2006), Sierra Leone (2005) and Cambodia (2004).

Crown Prince Haakon visits local UNDP employees in Kenya (2022). Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB

World Economic Forum

Each year the World Economic Forum brings together some 2 000 participants at its summit in Davos. Crown Prince Haakon took part in his first meeting in 2005, and has been an active participant ever since.

Crown Prince Haakon takes part in a panel discussion during the World Economic Forum. Photo: Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters.

When the Young Global Leaders programme was established in 2005, he was invited to become a member. He remained a member until 2010 when he joined the YGL board, where i served until 2017. 

Global Dignity initiative

In 2006, Crown Prince Haakon founded the Global Dignity initiative with US poverty eradication activist John Hope Bryant and Finnish professor of philosophy Pekka Himanen. The idea behind the initiative is to focus on how we can enhance our own dignity, as well as that of others, through the way we treat each other.

Global Dignity Day was organised for the first time in 2008. Schools in over 20 countries took part. Since that time, Dignity Day has been held in over 60 countries. Global Dignity Norway was established as a separate foundation, and Global Dignity Day was held throughout Norway for the first time in 2010.

More than 150 upper secondary schools, 25 000 pupils and 1 000 volunteers took part.

“Dignity Song” was written and composed by Dave Stewart and performed by hip-hop artist Nadirah X in support of Global Dignity Day
In 2016, the board decided to discontinue the activities of Global Dignity Norway, but the international segment of the initiative is being continued. The Crown Prince plays an active role as adviser and mentor.



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Crown Prince Haakon visited Zambia on behalf of UNDP October 2013, and comments on his work as a UNDP goodwill ambassador and the UN Development Goals. (Photo: Christian Lagaard, The Royal Court of Norway)

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Source: the UN

Crown Prince Haakon in Mesetas. Photo: FN-sambandet / Eivind Oskarson.