The Crown Prince in Botswana
On Wednesday, 11 November 2009, the visit of His Royal Highness The Crown Prince in Botswana commenced with a meeting with Vice President Mompati Merafhe in the capital of Gaborone.
Crown Prince Haakon will be in Botswana until Friday, 13 November, in his capacity as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP.
Discussions with the Vice President
Challenges related to development cooperation efforts were a key of topic of discussion when The Crown Prince met with Vice President Mompati Merafhe.
After his meeting with the Vice President, the Crown Prince had a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Phandu Skelemani and the permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Environment, Wildlife & Tourism; Local Government; Agriculture; and Minerals, Energy & Water Resources.
The Crown Prince also met with local UN representatives.
In the evening the Crown Prince attended a reception hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
His travels will continue on Thursday with a visit to the Okavango Delta, the worlds largest inland delta. During his visit the Crown Prince will be looking at the impact of climate change on the battle against poverty in Botswana.
Botswana is considered to be a stable democracy with relatively little corruption. Good political governance has created a foundation for economic development through the sound management of diamond resources and has helped secure good living conditions for the country's almost two million inhabitants.
Botswana is classified as a middle-income economy. However, the country is facing a number of challenges, including HIV/AIDS, economic vulnerability and increasing challenges from floods and drought, and is in need of development cooperation from the international community to deal with these.
Botswana is the seventh country the Crown Prince has visited since he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in 2003. He has previously travelled to Tanzania, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Burundi and Mongolia.
In October the Crown Prince agreed to continue his ambassadorship for a new two-year period. The focus of his work on behalf of UNDP is on the UN Millennium Development Goals and the effort to cut global poverty in half by 2015.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.