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Ghana: Remarks at lunch with UN Country Team

Introductory remarks by Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess at a working lunch with UN Country Team, 12 April 2011, in Accra, Ghana.

The Crown Prince and I appreciate this opportunity to meet with the UN Country Team on our first official visit to Ghana.

Both Ghana and Norway are deeply commited to the work of the UN. For Norway, The UN is an important channel for official development assistance. We are strong contributors to the UN operational activities - mainly through UNDP og UNICEF. For Norway, it is important that the various UN organisations work closely together - both at headquarters and at country level and are able to deliver as one. Furthermore, we support the strong emphasis on national ownership.

As the UN is so important for Norway - The Crown Prince and I have over many years been engaged with two UN bodies: My husband has been an ambassador for UNDP since 2005 - while I have been working with UNAIDS since 2006. Anywhere in the world where we visit UN projects, we meet engaging and passionate people with a strong sense of purpose.

As UNAIDS special representative I have made it a main task to support new generation leadership in the Aids response. We need to support young people in their work if we really want an Hiv-free next generation.

This coming Friday and Saturday I will participate at a Youth summit in Mali - with 100 young leaders from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe - hosted by UNAIDS and the government of Mali.

I am very pleased to learn that Ghana has managed to reverse the spread of hiv over the last few years, gradually reducing the number of new infections. And I commend the efforts to increase the number of people with access to hiv specific health services.

We have heard a lot about Ghana's efforts to reach the MDGs - especially the country's work on reducing poverty - and on improving the health of women and children.

Tomorrow we will visit a health clinic set up and run by UNICEF. We look very much forward to see for ourselves one example of how this particular UN body works at grassroot level in Ghana.

Again, thank you all for being here with us today. We look forward to hearing more about the work of the UN at country level.

Thank you

12.04.2011

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