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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Busy days for Jens in New York

Not only has Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg been busy trying to finance global climate measures in New York this week, he’s also been doing some lobbying at the UN on behalf of a former government colleague.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (left) huddling with financier George Soros (center) in New York this week. PHOTO: Statsministerenskontor

Stoltenberg has been back at the UN in his new role as co-leader of the UN group charged with coming up with as much as USD 100 billion a year from 2020. He has won praise for his efforts from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and also from famous financier George Soros.

Norway, Soros told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), is a leader in international climate work. He claimed that Norway is the country that has pushed forward preservation of rain forests in both Brazil and Indonesia.

The Hungarian immigrant to the US was far more critical of his own adopted homeland, which he believes is holding back progress in hammering out an international agreement to reverse climate change. 

Soros is part of the group Stoltenberg is leading with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and thus has become one of Stoltenberg’s most important advisers in financing a climate deal. They had a meeting of their own at the UN this week.

Stoltenberg also has had another agenda at the UN, reported newspaper Aftenposten: Trying to line up a top UN job for the former head of Norway’s Center Party, Åslaug Haga, who served as a minister in Stoltenberg’s last government. 

She’s a candidate for a new post as head of women’s and equality issues at the UN, along with around 10 others. Since Norwegian Kai Eide’s term as UN special envoy to Afghanistan ended, Norway has no top posts at the UN despite its consistent funding for the organization.

Haga is a former diplomat in addition to leading the small Center Party and most recently has been working with renewable energy issues. She has served as Norway’s minister of culture and local governments and has been an outspoken opponent of Norwegian membership in the European Union.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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