Launched on 21 January 2016 on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates consist of 17 eminent persons assisting the UN Secretary-General in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that world leaders unanimously adopted in September 2015.
With a mandate to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, the SDG Advocates have been working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, to raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and to foster the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.
The SDG Advocates met with the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General at the United Nations Headquarters on Sunday, September 17. Led by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway via video [...]
SDG Advocate Co-Chairs President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway published an op-ed in HuffPost calling for accelerated action to implement the SDGs. The Co-Chairs write that “the SDGs are [...]
The beauty of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the interdependence and mutuality of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Progress against one goal generates progress for all. Nowhere are these linkages more evident than [...]
Far too often we associate leadership with power, status and authority. But with this narrow outlook, we often tend to forget about the leaders closest to us: local leaders. These local leaders, the people who [...]
Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate, leading philanthropist, and teacher. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world whose mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere.
Ma currently serves on the board of SoftBank Corp., one of Alibaba’s major shareholders and a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Ma is dedicated to philanthropy, environmental protection and conservancy, and education globally. In 2014, Ma established the Jack Ma Foundation to work toward a world with bluer skies, cleaner water, healthier communities and more open thinking. Ma is chair of The Nature Conservancy’s China board of directors and a member of its global board of directors. In 2013 Ma joined the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation as a director and in 2015 joined the UN International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.
Ma is also an active advisor to multiple governments and business institutions globally. Ma is a member of the advisory group to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, advisor to Prime Minister Karim Massimov of Kazakhstan, and member of the International Advisory Council to the Singapore Economic Development Board. In 2014, Ma was elected to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.
Ma graduated from Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute with a major in English language education.
Her Majesty the Queen is the spouse of His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians and mother of four children.
She supports H.M. the King in His official duties and accompanies Him on state visits and official visits aimed at promoting Belgium’s diplomatic and economic interests as well as its image abroad.
H.M. the Queen shows great concern for vulnerable persons, particularly children. The Queen Mathilde Fund identifies projects likely to improve the situation of vulnerable persons and awards an annual Prize. Educational and health issues, the empowerment of women, the eradication of poverty and projects that fight illiteracy are other key areas of interest to Her.
H.M. the Queen is the Honorary President of UNICEF Belgium, Child Focus, the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium and the King Baudouin Foundation. The Queen is the Patron of many organizations and charities in Belgium and worldwide. She is an Honorary Board Member of the Schwab Foundation on Social Entrepreneurship. She has been a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum Davos.
She is also personally very committed to humanitarian matters and has undertaken many field visits in this regard.
In 2005, the Queen accepted an appointment as United Nations Envoy for the International Year on Microcredit. She was a UNICEF/UNAIDS Special Representative for their campaign on orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS and She was a Special Representative of WHO Europe for immunization.
H.M. the Queen is a former speech therapist and holds an MA in Psychology.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has been actively engaged in education and other social reform in Qatar for many years and has played a major role in spearheading national and international development projects. She currently serves as Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), a private non-profit organization. In addition to her role at QF, Her Highness has launched multiple projects including, the Silatech initiative in 2008 to address the growing challenge of youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa, which followed her appointment by the Secretary General of the UN as an Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) Ambassador. Her Highness has also launched Education Above All (EAA) in 2012, a global initiative that aims to bring new life chances and real hope and opportunities to poor and marginalised children, youth and women in the developing world. EAA is carrying out its objectives through a number of existing programmes such as Educate a Child (EAC), Protecting Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) and Al-Fakhoora.
In addition to her role as a United Nations (UN) Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, Her Highness plays an active role with the UN to support global education. She was previously a member of the UN Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group with a special emphasis on Goal 2 – universal primary education. Her Highness also served as a Steering Committee Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative and as a UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, through which she launched multiple projects including the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq.
Among Her Highness’s many honours are the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. In 2009, she was inducted into the Academie des Beaux Arts de l’Institut de France. In 2007, Sheikha Moza was presented the prestigious Chatham House Award for her contributions to improving international relations. Her Highness holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Public Policy in Islam from Hamad bin Khalifa University’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and graduated from Qatar University with a degree in sociology.
Graça Machel is a renowned international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and has been a social and political activist over many decades. She is a former freedom fighter and was the first Education Minister of Mozambique. Her contributions to the Africa Progress Panel, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, the High-Level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda, and now as Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group have been widely appreciated.
She is a member of The Elders, Girls Not Brides, Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Ambassador for Every Woman Every Child, President of SOAS, University of London, Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, President of the Foundation for Community Development, founder of the Zizile Institute for Child Development. As Founder of the Graça Machel Trust, she has focused more recently on advocating for women’s economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and promoting democracy and good governance.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is Founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. She also founded the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative and Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberia Coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP).
Leymah currently serves as a member of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development. She is a board member of the Federation of Liberian Youth. Leymah’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 –
is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. In addition, Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily Beast’s Africa columnist. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Gbowee Peace Foundation and the PeaceJam Foundation, and she is a member of the African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and Family Planning.
She holds a M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) honoris causa from Rhodes University in South Africa and University of Alberta in Canada. Leymah was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening
ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. After receiving the Barnard College Medal of Distinction, she was named as a Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice and a Visiting Transnational Fellow at the Center for Research on Women, and Fellow in Residence at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College for the 2013/2014 academic year. She is currently a distinguished residence scholar at the Union Seminary in New York, a Member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocacy Group and a proud mother of seven children.
Forest Whitaker believes that, in order to attain peace and prosperity, communities and nations must heed the voices of their diverse and vibrant youth. He and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative are committed to providing educational tools and better living conditions to young women and men living in regions touched by violence, war, and poverty.
Whitaker is the founder and CEO of WPDI, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. Whitaker is dedicated to cultivating youths’ artistic talents. As a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, he is working closely with elementary school students to demonstrate the limitless power of the arts to express their voices and creative energies.
In addition to his social activism, Whitaker is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and versatile figures. Through his production companies, Significant Productions and JuntoBox Films, he aims to support young, talented filmmakers. He believes that film can enlighten people across the globe and can start meaningful dialogues about important subjects. He has produced several award-winning documentaries that touch on a wide range of social issues. He has also received many distinctions for his acting, including the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, a performance for which he also received a BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe. In addition, Whitaker received the Best Actor Award for Bird at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.
Whitaker’s artistic and humanitarian contributions have been widely recognized at home and abroad. In 2007, he received the Cinema for Peace Award for his ongoing advocacy for child soldiers and his work with inner-city youth. He was awarded the Humanitas Prize in 2001. In 2008, he was a member of Barack Obama’s Urban Policy Committee.
Whitaker currently serves as a senior research scholar at Rutgers University and a visiting professor at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2013, Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center appointed Whitaker a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow. That same year, he was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in recognition of his work serving those affected by conflicts and violence. Over the past few years, he has also received awards honoring his humanitarian work from the Los Angeles Press Club, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the NAACP, Refugees International, the MLK Health Foundation, and more.
Whitaker’s commitment to peace and social justice has led him to work in close collaboration with UNESCO. In 2011, Whitaker was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. In this role, he works toward global peace and community building through non-violence education, research, and training. In 2012, in recognition of his contributions to the values embodied by the UN, Whitaker received the United Nations Correspondents Association’s Advocate of the Year Award. In 2014, he started collaborating with the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict as an Advocate for Children Affected by War, a topic on which he was invited to speak before the UN Security Council in September of that year. Also in 2014, in line with this new partnership and following his increased work in conflict-impacted regions, he was designated a UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. In 2016, he was appointed to the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group by the UN Secretary-General.
Above all, Whitaker believes that ordinary people can and must come together to change the world. In his own words, “Even a seemingly small action can cause ripples that make an enormous impact.”
Shakira Mebarak, Colombian singer/songwriter, Grammy-winning artist, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador is also a devoted advocate for education, particularly ECD (Early Childhood Development). At age 18 she founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which presently has 6 open-door, state of the art schools providing access to quality education for displaced and underprivileged children in her native Colombia. In addition to building projects which ensure that children have safe and well-equipped learning facilities, the foundation supplies nutritious meals; educational enrichment through art, music and recreation; and economic opportunities for families. Currently the schools serve over 6,000 students and impact over 30,000 members of the communities at large. Shakira is also the co-founder of ALAS, a movement that advocates for placing ECD on the political agendas of territories in Latin America and forms private-public partnerships to build ECD centers throughout the continent, to date over 35 centers in total throughout Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. In 2011, President Obama appointed her to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
As a Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, Shakira has expanded her child advocacy efforts on the global level, having done field visits in Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and Israel, leading two global fundraising campaigns to help life-saving supplies reach the world’s most impoverished and at-risk children, and most recently during UN Week 2015, hosting a high-level meeting of advocates, private and public sector representatives to discuss the importance of additional investment in ECD on a global scale.
Since 2015 she has also served as a member on former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s International Commission on Financing Global Education, which seeks to find a worldwide solution and funding to provide universal access to quality education.
Richard Curtis is a screen writer and director, responsible for films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mr. Bean, Love Actually, The Boat That Rocked, About Time and most recently Trash and Esio Trot.
In the other half of Richard’s life he is the Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of Comic Relief, which he started after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. In 1988, Comic Relief launched its Red Nose Day fundraising initiative, including a live TV broadcast for the BBC, which brought together some of the biggest celebrities of the day. Since then, Richard has produced more than 15 live nights of television and Red Nose Day has raised more than £1 billion for projects in the UK and around the world.
Last year, Richard launched Red Nose Day in the United States, which included a live telecast on NBC and raised over $23 million. Red Nose Day returns to the US in May 2016, with the day’s events culminating in a second live special on NBC, of which Richard is the Executive Producer.
Richard was a founding member of Make Poverty History and worked both on that campaign and on Live 8 in 2005. As part of his contribution to the campaign Richard wrote The Girl in the Café for HBO and the BBC – a television drama based around the G8 Summit, which won three Emmys. In 2012, Phillip Noyce directed Richard’s TV movie Mary and Martha, a film about two mothers losing their sons to malaria. It has been shown in 50 countries around the world and used as a campaigning tool by many organizations committed to ending malaria.
In 2014 Richard founded Project Everyone. Working alongside the United Nations, Project Everyone helped to launch and promote the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a series of ambitious targets to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and combat climate change by 2030. As part of this endeavour Richard produced the Global Citizen Festival, live from Central Park, which was broadcast in 150 territories worldwide.
In January 2016 Richard was formally appointed as a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocacte alongside 16 others including Shakira, Paul Polman and Graça Machel.
Paul Polman has been Chief Executive Officer of Unilever since 2009. Under his leadership Unilever has set out an ambitious vision to decouple its growth from overall environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact.
Paul actively seeks cooperation with other companies to implement sustainable business strategies and drive systemic change. He is Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, the B Team and sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact.
Paul has been closely involved in global discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and action to tackle climate change. In 2016, Paul was asked by the UN Secretary-General to be a member of the SDG Advocacy Group, tasked with promoting action on the 2030 Agenda. Prior to this, Paul served on the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, presenting recommendations on behalf of the private sector. He also served on the International Council of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, under former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon.
In recognition of his contribution to responsible business, Paul has received numerous awards including UN Foundation’s Champion for Global Change Award (2014), the Oslo Business for Peace Award (2015) and the UN Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award (2015).
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of both social business and microcredit, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus in March 2012 as “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.”
In 2006, Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
Professor Muhammad Yunus is the recipient of 55 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries. He has received 112 awards from 26 countries including state honours from 10 countries. He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. Other notable awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984), World Food Prize (1998), The Prince of Asturias Award for Concord (1998), Sydney Peace Prize (1998) and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006). In Bangladesh he got President’s Award in 1978 for introducing an innovative organisation in agriculture. He was awarded the Independence Day Award in 1987, by the President of Bangladesh for the outstanding contribution in rural development. This is the highest civilian national award of Bangladesh.
Professor Yunus was chosen by Wharton School of Business as one of ‘The 25 Most influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years’. AsiaWeek (Hong Kong) selected him as one of ‘Twenty Great Asians (1975-1995).” Ananda Bazaar Patrika (India) selected Professor Yunus as one of “Ten Great Bengalis of the Century (1900-1999).”
In 2006, Time Magazine listed Professor Yunus under “60 years of Asian Heroes” as one the top 12 business leaders. In 2008, in an open online poll, Yunus was voted the 2nd topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States). In 2010, The New Statesman (UK) listed him as one of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures”.
Professor Yunus has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hardtalk on BBC and The Simpsons. Financial Times chose Professor Muhammed Yunus as one of six Finance Pioneers. In the March 31, 2015 issue in an article entitled “Business Pioneers in Finance” Professor Yunus has been placed alongside Warren Buffett, Amadeo Giannini, Henry Kravis, J.P Morgan, and Mayer Amschel Rothschild as greatest business finance pioneers of all time. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek and Forbes Magazine.
Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world (no other football player has five FIFA Ballon d’Or as Best player of the year, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015) and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time.
Mr. Messi has dedicated time to UNICEF since 2004, supporting the offices in Spain and Argentina with advocacy and fundraising. He was among a team of top soccer players who were featured in a Public Service Announcement to launch the FIFA-UNICEF joint campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany under the banner ‘Unite for Children, Unite for Peace.’ In 2007, he participated in a local UNICEF telethon called ‘Un Sol para los Chicos’ which raised over US$1 million to benefit UNICEF projects in Argentina.. His personal childhood experiences have been the driving force behind his commitment and desire to help vulnerable children and to engage in charitable activities. In 2007, Leo Messi with the support of all his family founded the Leo Messi Foundation with the idea that all children have the same opportunities for making their dreams come true. The prospects are to work on actions, not only in Argentina and Spain, but also abroad and together with other institutions which develop projects in alignment with the ideals of the Foundation: Education and Health Care (mainly focused on childhood cancer treatment, Malaria, “Mal de Chagas” illness and building or rehabilitating Medical facilities).
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.
Professor Sachs served as the Director of the Earth Institute from 2002 to 2016. He was appointed University Professor at Columbia University in 2016, and also serves as Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Sachs is Director of both the Center for Sustainable Development, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Sachs is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He has authored five books, including three New York Times bestsellers (*), in the past decade years: The End of Poverty (2005*), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008*), The Price of Civilization (2011*), To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013) and The Age of Sustainable Development (2015).
Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, global macroeconomics, and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, overcoming macroeconomic instability, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than thirty years he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He was among the outside advisors to Pope John Paul II on the encyclical Centesimus Annus and in recent years has worked closely with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on the issues of sustainable development.
Sachs is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Blue Planet Prize, membership in the United States Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. His conversation with Tyler Cowen won the Quartz Podcast Award for best business/economics podcast of 2015. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and many awards and honors around the world. Professor Sachs is also a frequent contributor to major publications such as the Financial Times of London, the International Herald Tribune, Scientific American, and Time magazine.
Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.
Dr. Alaa Murabit is a medical doctor, and and one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, appointed by the UN Secretary General and a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth. She was recently selected as an MIT Director’s Fellow. Murabit serves as a trustee for International Alert and Keeping Children Safe.
At the age of 15 Alaa completed high school and moved from Saskatoon, Canada to Zawia, Libya. It was there that she enrolled in medical school and founded The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW) at the age of 21. With a strong focus on challenging societal and cultural norms and utilizing traditional and historical role models Murabit champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation. Her programs, such as the groundbreaking “Noor Campaign” are replicated internationally.
Murabit’s TED Talk, released in July 2015, “What my religion really says about women” was selected as the TED Talk of the Day and one of four moving TED Talks you should watch right now by The New York Times.
Nicknamed “The Libyan Doogie Howser” by Jon Stewart and applauded for her innovative approach to security, Murabit acts as advisor to numerous international security boards, think tanks and organizations, including the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (women, peace and security),UN Women Global Advisory Board, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Murabit is an Ashoka fellow, and the youngest recipient of the Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian Award by the Italian Government, named the “International Trust Women Hero 2014” by The New York Times, “One of 25 women under 25 to watch” by Newsweek, a “100 Top Woman” by the BBC and the SAFE Global Hero.
Murabit has been selected to address the UN Security during the 15th anniversary of Resolution 1325, as well as the UN General Assembly during the Commission on the Status of Women opening session opening session, and address the UN Security Council during the 15 year anniversary of Resolution 1325.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland, was born on 14 July 1977 in Stockholm.She was baptised at the Palace Church on 27 September 1977 and given the names Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée.
Crown Princess Victoria is the eldest child of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia. In accordance with the 1979 Act of Succession, which entered into force on 1 January 1980, Crown Princess Victoria is heir to the Swedish throne. The Crown Princess resides at Haga Palace together with Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, and Prince Oscar.
United Nations experience
In the spring of 1998, Crown Princess Victoria began academic studies in Political Science and History at Yale University in the United States. In conjunction with her stay The Crown Princess completed two periods of work experience at the United Nations in New York (June and September 2002) as well as one at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC in May 1999.
In autumn 2000 The Crown Princess completed studies in conflict resolution and international peace-building.
In spring 2001 The Crown Princess studied the Swedish Presidency of the EU.
Swedish Government Offices
In autumn 2001, The Crown Princess followed a study programme at the offices of the Swedish Government. During this time she visited the ‘Swedish Style’ exhibition in Tokyo and the west coast of the USA in connection with the Nobel Jubilee.
In spring 2002, The Crown Princess completed a study programme at SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and spent time in countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.
During this time she also continued with her official engagements. In autumn 2002 she completed an internship with the Swedish Trade Council in Berlin and Paris.
International aid work in Asia
In spring 2005 The Crown Princess travelled extensively, including a trip to Australia in connection with the ‘Swedish Style’ exhibition, and a trip to Japan to attend the World Exposition in Aichi.
The Crown Princess also travelled to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to study international aid efforts in these countries. In June 2005 she visited Turkey with Thomas Östros, the Swedish Minister for Trade and Industry, in order to promote relations between Sweden and Turkey.
In September 2006 the Crown Princess embarked upon the diplomatic programme at the Swedish Foreign Ministry. The programme lasts for one academic year and includes lectures, seminars and group work. The Crown Princess also took part in field trips to various different authorities and institutions.
H.E. Erna Solberg was born in Bergen 24 February 1961. She is married to Sindre Finnes. The couple has two children. Solberg holds a Cand. Mag. Degree (in Sociology, Political Science, Statistics and Economy) from the University of Bergen in 1986.
H.E. Solberg was Minister of Local Government and Regional Development 2001-2005, in Kjell Magne Bondevik’s Second Government. She has represented the Conservative Party in the County of Hordaland at the Storting (Parliament) since 1989. At the change of government she was the Conservative Party’s parliamentary leader. During the recent Storting period she was member of the Standing Committee on Health and Care Services Affairs, the Standing Committee on Foreign and Defence Affairs and the Electoral Committee, 08.10.2009 – 30.09.2013. She has previously been a member of standing committees on i.a. Finance and Local Government, and head of the Storting’s delegation to NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly.
H.E. Solberg has been leader of the Conservative Party since 2004.
President Mahama was born in Damongo, in what is now the Damongo-Daboya Constituency of Ghana on the 29th of November 1958. His Father was the Late Emmanuel Adama Mahama who was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja Constituency, and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region under President Kwame Nkrumah.
The young John Dramani Mahama attended primary school at the Achimota School in Accra, and on completion moved to the Northern Region to attend the Ghana Secondary School in Tamale where he studied for his Ordinary and Advanced level GCE Certificates. Thereafter he attended the University of Ghana, Legon where he read History, and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1981.
He furthered his education by doing Post Graduate Studies in Communication also in the University of Ghana, in the School of Communication Studies, which he completed in 1986. He has always had a thirst for knowledge, and this made him take advantage of the opportunity to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Psychology from the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.
After he completed his post graduate diploma studies in Moscow, John Mahama returned to Ghana and in 1991 become the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.
The President credits this period of his life for having inculcated in him the Japanese work ethic, after seeing first-hand the efforts that they put into their work. The President had never been afraid of hard work himself, but the experience reinforced in his mind the importance of focus and commitment and reflects in his actions, effort and the dynamism that he brings to bear on the Office of the President.
After working at the Embassy of Japan for a few years, he moved on to become the International Relations, Sponsorship, Communication and Grants Manager at the Ghana Office of PLAN International, an International Development Charity that has committed itself to alleviating child poverty and improving the lives of Children all over the world.
The President contested to serve as a Member of Parliament for the Bole-Bamboi Constituency in 1996, and won on the ticket of the NDC. He was re-elected to Parliament two more times in the year 2000, and 2004 prior to becoming the Vice-Presidential Candidate for the Party in 2008.
During his first term of Office as an MP he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Communications, and subsequently appointed substantive Minister. He was the first Chairman of the National Communications Authority and in that capacity played a key role in shaping Ghana’s telecommunication’s sector after deregulation.
During the NDC Administration of 1996 -2000 he was also a member of the economic management team, and played a key role in the publicity committee for the re-introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
When the NDC Government left office in January 2001 he served as the Minority Spokesman for Communications in Parliament from 2001 to 2004, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2008, and as a Member of the Pan African Parliament. He was also the Director of Communications of the NDC and played a key role in giving voice to the party’s positions on matters of governance and social significance when the party was in opposition.
He was popularly elected in an election conducted by Ghana’s Electoral Commission on December 07, 2012. John Mahama ascended to the Office of President after the untimely demise of the late President – His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills on the 24th of July 2012.