The Crown Prince to visit Mongolia
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon will be travelling to Mongolia in his capacity as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP on 3-6 November.
In Mongolia, the Crown Prince will see firsthand the important role active local democracy is playing in the fight to eradicate poverty in one of the largest, most sparsely populated countries in the world.
In the course of his three-day visit, the Crown Prince will meet with local activists, politicians, students and nomads who are contributing in different ways to helping Mongolia to come a step closer to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Mongolia is ranked number 114 of 177 countries on the UN Human Development Index. The population is burdened by low incomes and a lack of housing. The country is also facing major challenges in ensuring equal access to education for boys and girls, and increasing the number of women involved in political decision-making processes.
The Mongolian authorities are taking development challenges seriously, and have created a ninth Millennium Development Goal to foster democratic governance. This is intended to supplement the eight global Millennium Development Goals, which include providing universal education, combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, securing access to clean water, and supporting sustainable development.
The authorities have committed themselves to protecting human rights, safeguarding freedom of the press, and implementing a policy of zero tolerance for corruption. As the country is very sparsely populated, the authorities are mounting a large-scale effort to promote decentralisation and local democracy.
Crown Prince Haakon was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP in 2003. Since that time, he has travelled to Burundi, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Tanzania on behalf of the organisation, focusing on the Millennium Development Goals and the struggle to cut poverty in half by 2015.
UNDP is the UN's global development network. Around the world, UNDP collaborates with national partners to strengthen democracy and develop sustainable and legitimate institutions to improve peoples lives.
In the view of UNDP, democratic governance is essential to human development and to combating poverty, preventing conflict, preventing environmental degradation and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. In all its activities, UNDP encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia.
Crown Prince Haakon in Bergen
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince visited the research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen and opened the conference “The Ocean” in Bergen this morning.