Former US President Bill Clinton was in Oslo this week and delivered a pep talk of sorts to employees of Norway’s foreign ministry, foreign aid administrator NORAD and the local Peace Corps. He thanked them all for their contribution to economic development and social justice far from Norway’s borders.
Clinton, addressing hundreds of state workers at a downtown hotel, claimed that Norway sets a good example for other countries of how to make the best use of wealth both at home and abroad.
Every time Norway takes in a refugee, finances a program that strengthens women’s rights and finances or enters into a partnership with organizations, local residents or business, the country helps the world deal with youth unemployment, economic disparity and insecurity, Clinton said.
It’s not because of all the oil money Norway has, Clinton stressed, “but because of what you do with it,” he told his audience. He was referring to how Norwegian politicians set firm limits on domestic use of the country’s oil revenues, sets most of it aside for future generations but also budgets substantial amounts every year for foreign aid and contributions to the United Nations.