Princess Haya Calls for Better Disaster Management
The wife of the Dubai’s ruler, Princess Haya, was one of the key speakers at the “2009 UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction,” held in Manama, Bahrain on Sunday.
The gathering focused on how the Persian Gulf is at high risk for disaster following events such as tsunamis, earthquakes and cyclones.
“In terms of practical assistance,” said Haya, the half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “I would like to call for a global structural assessment of all schools and hospitals, the first 50 per cent to be completed by the end of 2010 and the remainder by the end of 2011. As recently witnessed in Italy, doctors were forced to operate in the open air and schools, a natural shelter in times of trouble, were rendered unusable.”
A recent study shows many of the Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates, are susceptible to drought. Meanwhile, Yemen and Oman are in harm’s way in case a tsunami happens.
The Princess also said the possibility of natural disasters only add the growing list of problems in many of the world’s countries, such as education and poverty.
“It’s hard to motivate political leaders to focus on preventive measures to face possible disasters, because politically it’s difficult under the normal circumstances to convince the people of the benefits of such investments to face things which might not take place,” she said.
She also proposed a global safety review of schools and hospitals to be completed within two years.
Akishino & Kiko Tour Sites All Over Hungary
Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko made their third stop on their two week European tour in Hungary on Friday. There, the royal couple witnessed how 50 years of bilateral ties between their country and Hungary has effected the people there.
The two arrived in the Eastern European nation late Saturday, after ending their trip to Bulgaria.
When the Japanese royals came to Hungary, they quickly went to the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest, where they took a look at the “Spirit of Harmony Japanese Design Today” exhibition. The exhibit focused on modern Japanese designs and art.
On Sunday morning, they went to see a Hakkoda Dojo Japanese fighting show in Kecskemet, which is south of Budapest. Akishino and Kiko saw how Hungarians are willing to learn the Japanese version of martial arts.
Later in the day, the couple took a ride to the Hungarian plains where they saw gray cattle being raised by traditional Hungarian herders.
Finally, Akishino and Kiko went back to Budapest for some more official sightseeing. They toured the Matthias Church and the Fisherman Castle.
The Prince and Princess’ visit to Hungary will end Tuesday, as they make their final stop in the Danube region for a four day visit to Romania.
Death Threats Against Belgium’s Queen Fabiola
Belgium authorities are looking into a possible death threat made against Queen Fabiola.
A Belgian newspaper received a letter earlier this week in which someone threatened to kill the widow of King Baudoin by a crossbrow during an Independence Day parade on July 21st.
The letter was written by an electric typewriter, and was mailed using five cent stamps from the image of King Albert I from the 1930′s.
According to André Van Doorn, the Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM), the letter is very structured, “but that does not mean that we will investigate these threats seriously.”
However, security is expected to be high this year for the Belgian royals, following the Queen’s Day attack in neighboring Holland in April.
Spanish-born Fabiola was Belgium’s Queen Consort from 1960 to 1993.
Norwegian Royals Celebrate National Day
It was a beautiful sunny day for Norway as its royal family marked National Day.
There were three events for the royal family to celebrate. The first one involved the Crown Princely family in Skaugum, outside of Oslo.
Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children stood outside their residence as they waved and cheered for a youth parade marching by. Some children walked up to give Haakon and Mette-Marit flowers.
The entire Crown Princely family was dressed in traditional Norwegian clothes.
This year was different for the family, as they usually stand on the steps of their Skaugum Palace. But since the palace is being renovated, they simply stood at it’s gate.
Later in the morning, Haakon, Mette-Marit and two of their children – Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus – joined King Harald V and Queen Sonja on the balcony of the royal palace in Oslo.
At 3pm local time, the King and Queen will visit Grünerløkka, a borough of Oslo.
Norway has much to celebrate this year. Not only for their annual National Day, which marks the signing of the country’s constitution, but also for entertainment purposes. Norway won the Euro Vision Song Contest over the weekend.