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Dhaka Tribune

Swedish crown princess to visit Bangladesh as UNDP goodwill ambassador

Visit will include meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, senior government officials, young students, business leaders, etc

Update : 17 Mar 2024, 03:40 PM

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will be visiting Bangladesh in her capacity as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from March 18 to 21.

It was the first official mission since her appointment as a UNDP goodwill ambassador in October, the UN agency said.

"The crown princess's visit is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of Bangladesh’s development journey and strengthen partnerships towards a resilient and inclusive future," said Ulrika Modéer, UN assistant secretary-general and director of external relations and advocacy at UNDP, who will accompany the crown princess during the visit.

"We’ve seen reductions in extreme poverty, strengthening of women’s rights and important advancements in areas such as climate adaptation, disaster risk management and inclusive digitalization. At the same time, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to both natural disasters and climate change and several development challenges remain."

The crown princess will also be accompanied by Sweden's Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell. 

“I look forward to visiting Bangladesh together with the Crown Princess in her role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP and with Ulrika Modéer, assistant secretary general at UNDP. The Swedish government actively contributes to the implementation of Agenda 2030.”, says Forssell, who makes his first visit to Bangladesh.  
 
“Sweden and Bangladesh’s partnership goes back more than 50 years and consists of long-term development cooperation and extensive trade. Bangladesh has made an impressive development journey in recent years and is expected to transition from a low-income country to a middle-income country in 2026. The business sector, including Swedish companies, plays an important role in promoting the green and digital transition, which contributes significantly to job creation and sustainable growth,” Forssell continues. 

The visit will include meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, senior government officials, young students, entrepreneurs, business leaders and representatives from the UN system.

The crown princess will also make field visits to witness firsthand the positive impact of inclusive digital development on poverty reduction in rural Bangladesh and explore initiatives led by women and young entrepreneurs striving to mitigate the effects of climate change in vulnerable areas, implemented by the government and UNDP.

The UN's support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh will also be highlighted during the visit.

“Crown Princess Victoria has a long and strong commitment to sustainability, poverty eradication, climate action and equality. We are honoured to welcome the crown princess to UNDP in Bangladesh and showcase our efforts to promote locally led development models that contribute effectively towards a greener, more resilient and inclusive future for all," said UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Stefan Liller.

The Crown Princess returns to Bangladesh almost two decades after her first visit to the country in 2005. She then spent three days primarily following up on Swedish development cooperation in the northwestern parts of Bangladesh. 

She was appointed UNDP goodwill ambassador in October. In this role, she plays a key role in increasing awareness and engagement for the Sustainable Development Goals and a sustainable future where no one is left behind.

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