Crown Princess opens Oslo AIDS Conference

Today (June 23) Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, opened The international Young Leaders Summit 2009 on Aids at Losby Manor outside Oslo.

“We are here to talk about the future- but more importantly we are here to make the future,” said Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit in her opening remarks welcoming the young participants

The three-day summit will gather 30 leaders between the ages of 17 and 30 from all parts of the world to discuss the fight against HIV/Aids and particularly the challenges related to stigmatisation and discrimination. The participants will represent both grass roots organisations and decision-making bodies. One of the purposes of the conference is to strengthen international youth networks and give a new generation of young leaders a voice. During his opening remarks, The Norwegian Minster of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim underlined the vital need for young people to develop their own solutions for the global HIV response, saying “you are changing minds and giving people hope, the struggle needs your ideas, passion and commitment”.

The conference program states that young people are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection today, and it is therefore important that young leaders are engaged in HIV/Aids-related efforts.

The 2nd Summit has been designed by a youth-led planning committee, working in close collaboration with advisors at the Ministry of Foreign-Affairs, Norway; aids2031; UNAIDS and the Royal Palace Norway. Organizations on the planning committee include: the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, the World AIDS Campaign, and Hope’s Voice International.

For more info visit: Aids2031.org

Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Marius (middle) attended a reception on the Royal Yacht in the Oslo Fjord on June 24. Photo: The Royal Norwegian Court.

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