Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Dignity and development
The Crown Prince Haakon of Norway describes the MDGs and their priority target to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. He stresses the progress achieved so far in bringing at least 400 million people out of extreme poverty compared to 1990.
The Millennium Development Goals were rightly set, there is progress in their implementation however it is too slow. There is still much to be done – said the Crown Prince Haakon of Norway during his Kapuscinski Development Lecture at the University of Warsaw on 8th December 2011.
The lecture provided an opportunity for the Polish students to learn about the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). During his lecture entitled “Development and Dignity” the Crown Prince described the MDGs and their priority target to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. He stressed the progress achieved so far in bringing at least 400 million people out of extreme poverty compared to 1990. On a global scale the poverty rate in developing countries decreased from 46 to 27%. According to the Prince Haakon also the primary education improved among boys and girls, the number of new HIV infections is going down.
The Crown Prince described most thoroughly the goal related to child mortality which aims at decreasing the rate by two thirds by 2015. Twenty years ago over 12 million children before the age of 5 were dying annually from preventable diseases. In 2010 this number decreased to 7.5 million. This presents an obvious progress however we will most probably not achieve this goal by 2015 – said the Crown Prince.
Prince Haakon presented the linkage between income per capita and the child mortality rate. When my daughter Ingrid was born in 2004, Norway was at the level of Singapore in these statistics. When I was born, in 1973, Norway was at the current level of Malaysia. When my mother was born, in 1937, we were at the current level of Peru. When my grandmother was born, in 1898, this was the position of Uganda and at the time of my great grandmother’s birth in 1831 Norway was at the level of Mozambique. This shows how reducing child mortality is a difficult and a long-term process. But this is feasible – said Prince Haakon.
According to the Crown Prince the least progress was achieved in implementation of the goal related to decreasing maternal mortality and building global partnership for development. Prince Haakon focused part of the lecture on the issue of human dignity and its relation to development. The Prince is a founder of the “Global Dignity” initiative.
In 2003, Crown Prince Haakon was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with a particular focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals and the effort to cut global poverty in half by 2015. In this capacity he has travelled to Tanzania, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Burundi, Mongolia, Botswana and Nepal.
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