Opening Remarks by Ambassador Skoog at the UN High-Level Event "Out of the Shadows: Shining Light on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation"
Opening Remarks by Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog at the UN High-Level Event "Out of the Shadows: Shining Light on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation", co-hosted by Sweden, 3 October 2018, New York.
Your Majesty Queen Silvia
Your royal highness Princess Madeleine
Deputy Secretary General,
Distinguished delegates and guests,
Delighted to see so many participants here today. This day marks a very important day in our annual calendar. And we are extremely proud to once again co-host this morning´s event with The World Childhood Foundation USA, so impressed by your work and happy about the partnership. Thank you also to the OAK Foundation, The UN, End Violence against Children and Together for Girls. And of course encouraged about the engagement and the work by the Economist Intelligence Unit. We are looking forward to learn more about your findings and the global Index in just a short while.
Thank you also to our panelists this morning for lending your expertise to this issues.
And above all so so proud to have a royal family and a Queen of Sweden so dedicated and engaged and who has done more than perhaps anyone else in shining a light on abuse and exploitation of children in my country and around the world. Princess Madeleine has grabbed a firm grip onto that same torch and it brings plenty of hope.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There are as many reasons as there are abused children in this world why we need to engage and discuss how to come to terms with this plague.
We have here in New York just come out of a High Level week where the leaders of the world – at least most of them – have committed themselves again to the Sustainable Development Goals. To my mind the 20 30 agenda is not only a masterplan for our common future on this planet, it can hopefully also put an end to the nightmare of millions of exploited children. We have given ourselves to 2030 to fulfill this pledge – but of course some issues are much more urgent. Ending child sexual abuse and exploitation should clearly be on the top of the list.
Action is needed, but we must take guidance from what really works. The Economist index promises to be a very useful guide in this respect.
Sweden was the first country in the world to prohibit all corporal punishment of children. (I still remember how foreign journalists ridiculed this legislation and the cries of what anarchy would emerge as a result). In June this year, the Swedish parliament adopted a bill on making the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Swedish law.
As one of the main contributors to the UN system funds agencies and programs, we try to support and safeguards the best interest of the child. Using our seat on the Security Council, we try to lead on protection of children affected by conflicts, as child soldiers, refugees or displaced.
But make no mistake. No society, no country is immune. We have plenty of work left to do together.
The engagement of all of you is inspiring. Let’s bring the exploitation out of the shadows and shine the light on the solutions.