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Barth Graduated from the Norwegian Naval Academy in 1954. After four years service in the Navy i.a. as teacher at the Academy, he entered the Foreign Service I 1959. From 1960–1962 Attaché at the Norwegian embassy in Paris. After a period as Vice-Consul at the Consulate General in New York he returned in 1965 to the Ministry as First Secretary. From 1967 to 1970 First Secretary of Embassy at the Norwegian Permanent Delegation in Geneva.
Bath served as trade policy advisor to the Norwegian Export Council. In 1972 he returned to the Ministry as Head of Division, later to serve as Counsellor of Embassy in Brussels. From 1973 he became Minister Counsellor and deputy head of the Norwegian Delegation to OECD with the special task of finalizing Norway’s agreement with the IEA.
From 1977 to 1981 he served as Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Norwegian Embassy in Washington, and from 1981 to 1982 he worked as Ambassador to Iraq. From 1982 to 1983 he served as Ambassador and Special advisor I to the Foreign Ministry and representative to the IEA.
On 1953 he served as Director of Oil Market Development in the International Energy Agency and OECD Combined Energy Staff. From 1986 to 1989 he worked as Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From 1986 to 1994 he served as Ambassador to OECD. Bath was also the first Norwegian to chair the Executive Committee of the OECD. From 1994 to 1996 he served as Ambassador to Greece, and from 1996 to 1999 he served as Ambassador to the Netherlands
- 1991: Commander of The Royal Order of St. Olav
- 1994: Honorary citizen of the City of Athens
- 1996: Grand Cross of the Greek Order of Phoenix
- Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Bjørn Barth" (in Norwegian). Store norske leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 February 2010. Norsk utenrikspolitikks historie, bind 6 Oljealder, pages 215 ff and 225 ff Gro Harlem Brundtland, Dramatiske år 19861996 page 166
- Norsk utenrikspolitikks historie, bind 6 Oljealder, pages 215 ff and 225 ff
- Gro Harlem Brundtland, Dramatiske år 19861996 page 166
- Bjørn Barth Valedictory report: “Kjære Utenriksminister”: Aftenposten, 23 August 1999
- Store Norske Leksikon: Bjørn Barth
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