More pictures of the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway today to mark the 200th anniversary of the Moss Treaty. The couple attended events today at Moss’ Varket Arena, where the Crown Prince gave a speech.
Crown Prince Haakon’s Speech
Today we stand here together, a few meters from the signing of the important agreement. The King’s difficult decision was the beginning of 200 years of peace between the Nordic countries. Today, 200 years later, Moss is quite different, and Norway are quite different. But I still think that we who are here today have much in common with those who sat in convention garden that day, or worked here at the ironworks.
As 200 years ago, we all have choices; large and small, every day. The choices says something about who we are. Many of you here today are young people who have traveled to Moss for example Cuba, Israel, Palestine, Guatemala, Sweden, Russia, South Africa and USA. It says that you are interested in some of the most important: getting together, see each other, learn from each other, respect each other’s differences, identify the common human heart of us.
All this I experienced when I met young people at the seminar Youth Action and earlier today, where they also worked on issues such as peace building and conflict resolution in practice.
Here we have much to learn. Even though the Nordic region has benefited from 200 years of peace between our countries, this is not obvious. When we look at the world and know our own history, we know how fragile peace can be. But peace is about more than avoiding war. Fred is about building communities.
When this year we are celebrating the Constitution, we celebrate some choices we have made together - how we have chosen to build the Norwegian society:
We have decided that no one should have the power alone. Those who govern the country, gets its power by the people.
We have emphasized freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We should be able to say and believe what we want.
And we are concerned that no one should be afraid to be themselves. And within reason, no one could threaten you to think and be something other than what you want.
These values do not work by themselves, and we must work for them continuously. Often put the pressure on, and some people unfortunately they do not always work as they should. But luckily there are values we daily work and see the results of. Sometimes it can be difficult to make good and wise choices - of a society, and on its own behalf. Especially when we have been exposed to any harm. Fortunately not all choices as severe as the king took here in Moss, but most of what we do impacts eventually other people.
The Norwegian society today is different from what we had in 1814 in several ways. We have got a high standard of living, there is less difference between rich and poor, and we build our country on values that the Constitution laid the foundations for - but that was largely unknown in people’s lives for 200 years. Most of us have choices.
Norway is also part of the world, perhaps even more than in 1814, we affect the world and it affects us. We can not set ourselves away from the world community. We enjoy trading, exciting destinations, and tourists who come to see the Norwegian nature. But the conflicts and challenges affecting us - for example when we notice the global refugee situation and increased terror alert.
When I meet young people on peace seminar here in Moss looks, I still feel like the future! We have much more in common than divide us. When I travel around Norway and in other countries, I always see traces of this. I believe in the immense power of young people working together. To have the potential of young people - including those that fall slightly outside, and allowing them to make good choices about building a good society. That way we can create independent people - which can also lead others. I have met many of those leaders:
- For example, 18 year old Jasmin from Tromsø, who had been bullied as long as she could remember, but that did help to stop it in 9th grade. She started an anti-bullying project - so that others will experience the same as her.
- Or Pamela farmer in Zambia - who was a single mother of four, but still had failed to provide any education by ensuring that the small soil stain gave her enough income by growing a new, more robust and sustainable manner.
- Or 17 year old Malala from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban because she talked and wrote about girls’ right to education. She is a role model for many and are currently being listened to by world leaders.
All these have taken bold choices that affect others and that allows us to live together despite differences. And the peacemakers. For peace is about building communities.