Thorvald Stoltenberg

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Thorvald Stoltenberg
Thorvald Stoltenberg 2007.jpg
Photo: Harry Wad (2007)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1987
1990 – 1989
1993
Monarch Olav V
Harald V
Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland
Preceded by Knut Frydenlund
Kjell Magne Bondevik
Succeeded by Kjell Magne Bondevik
Johan Jørgen Holst
Personal details
Born (1931-07-08) 8 July 1931 (age 83)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Political party Norwegian Labour Party
Children Jens Stoltenberg
Camilla Stoltenberg
Nini Stoltenberg

Thorvald Stoltenberg (born 8 July 1931) is a former Norwegian politician. His ancestors stem from Tønsberg. He served as Minister of Defense (1979–81) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1987–1989 and 1990–1993) in two Labour governments.

From 1989 to 1990 he was appointed Norwegian Ambassador to the UN. In 1990 he became the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but served only one year before rejoining the Norwegian government.[1] In 1992, Thorvald Stoltenberg, together with nine Baltic Ministers of Foreign Affairs and an EU commissioner, founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the EuroFaculty.[2] In 1993 appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the former Yugoslavia and UN Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. Thorvald Stoltenberg was also the UN witness at the signing of Erdut Agreement.

In 2003 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). Between 1999 and 2008 he was President of the Norwegian Red Cross, the only president to serve three terms. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, and holds a seat on their Executive Committee.[citation needed]

Stoltenberg was born in Oslo.

Youth[edit]

In his youth Stoltenberg became heavily involved in the organization of Hungarian refugees fleeing the invading Soviet Army in 1956. In one particular situation, evacuating refugees by boat in the middle of the night, he jumped into the strong currents, risking his own life to save one of the boats. One of the other rescuers, future famous American journalist Barry Farber called this the greatest act of courage he has ever seen in his life. Stoltenberg himself kept the story a secret, until Farber in December 2006 revealed it on the Norwegian talk-show Først & sist.

Political views[edit]

Lobbying for changes in drug policy[edit]

Recently, Stoltenberg has led a commission whose primary purpose was to recommend changes in Norwegian drug policy to improve the situation of hard drug addicts. The question of heroin prescription was one of the most controversial topics evaluated by the commission set up by Bjarne Håkon Hanssen. The commission concluded in June 2010 that Norway should start trials with heroin prescription, in addition to making several other changes to its drug policy.[3][4] He also joined an international campaign for a less punitive drug policy, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, consisting of, among others, former Latin American leaders.[5][6][7]

Sanctions against Israel[edit]

In 2010, together with 25 other elder statesmen, Stoltenberg sent a letter to EU leaders and the heads of government of the EU countries, demanding sanctions against Israel for its violations of international law. His co-signatories included Javier Solana, Felipe González, Romano Prodi, Lionel Jospin and Mary Robinson.[8][9]

Private life[edit]

He married Karin née Heiberg (1931-2012) in 1957. Their son, Jens Stoltenberg (b. 1959), followed him into politics and served as Prime Minister of Norway from October 2005 to October 2013. They also have two daughters, Camilla (b. 1958), a medical researcher and administrator, and Nini (1963-2014) whose heroin addiction has been much publicized.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ISAD UNHCR Fonds 13 Records of the Office of the High Commissioner" Archives 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ Kristensen, Gustav N. 2010. Born into a Dream. EuroFaculty and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Berliner Wissentshafts-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8305-1769-6.
  3. ^ Norwegian commission recommends drug policy reform. ENCOD.org. Retrieved on 2011-06-22.
  4. ^ "Anbefaler heroin-behandling" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  5. ^ Ex-World Leaders Form Global Drug Policy Commission. StopTheDrugWar.org. Retrieved on 2011-06-22.
  6. ^ Global Commission on Drug Policy | The Commission
  7. ^ AFP: Personalities urge new ways to tackle drug abuse. Globalcommissionondrugs.org. January 25, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-06-22.
  8. ^ Stoltenberg krever sanksjoner mot Israel, Fagforbundet
  9. ^ Krever sanksjoner mot Israel, ABC Nyheter

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Rolf Arthur Hansen
Norwegian Minister of Defence
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Anders C. Sjaastad
Preceded by
Knut Frydenlund
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Kjell Magne Bondevik
Preceded by
Kjell Magne Bondevik
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Johan Jørgen Holst
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Tom Vraalsen
Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations
1989–1990
Succeeded by
Martin Huslid
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg
President of the Norwegian Red Cross
1998–2008
Succeeded by
Sven Mollekleiv