No Norwegians on board MH17

UPDATED: Foreign Minister Børge Brende said on Friday morning there was nothing to suggest any Norwegians had been on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday evening. Later on Friday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg expressed her sympathy to the families of the victims, but urged restraint in the […]

Brende heads to Middle East talks

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende announced he’d travel to Israel and Palestine on Tuesday as part of efforts to secure a ceasefire and peace plan between warring Israel and Hamas. Israel finally agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt shortly before eight o’clock on Tuesday morning, but Hamas claimed on Monday night they had not […]

Norway sued for gender discrimination

An American woman who worked for three years at the Norwegian consulate in Minneapolis is suing the Norwegian government after she was paid USD 40,000 less than a male colleague in a similar role. Ellen Ewald alleged she earned less simply because she was a woman. “I am so disappointed in Norway!” Ewald told newspaper […]

More aid for Philippines recovery

Norway’s foreign minister has pledged an extra NOK 50 million (USD 8.1 million) to the typhoon recovery effort during  a visit to the Philippines. Børge Brende arrived in Tacloban on Wednesday, one of the areas worst hit when a deadly typhoon battered the island nation in November. Typhoon Haiyan struck on November 8, 2013. The […]

Youthful unrest at the foreign ministry

Young diplomats at Norway’s foreign ministry think they’re forced to wait far too long to finally become ambassadors abroad. More than 100 of them have complained that ambassador posts don’t necessarily go to those most qualified, but rather to those with the most seniority. More than a third of all the top posts at Norwegian […]

Cancer claims renown diplomat

Hans Wilhelm Longva has been called Norway’s most important diplomat in the Middle East, and certainly among its most fearless. Colleagues and journalists alike were mourning his death to cancer over the weekend. He was 71. “It is with great sorrow that we have received the news of Hans Wilhelm Longva’s death,” Foreign Minister Espen […]

Ministry launches ‘Team Norway’

Norway’s foreign ministry, which has assembled all its ambassadors and station chiefs in Oslo this week, unveiled a new program to them that aims to make it easier for Norwegian businesses to expand abroad. The program also enhances state support for companies’ international operations. Called “Team Norway,” the program will coordinate the services of the […]

Most new top diplomats are women

For the first time ever, Norway’s foreign ministry has named more women than men to head the country’s embassies and general consulates around the world. All the chiefs of Norway’s foreign missions are assembled in Oslo this week for the ministry’s annual gathering  of the diplomatic troops. Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide of the Labour […]

UD faces claims of discrimination

Staff employed locally at Norwegian embassies around the world, all run by Norway’s foreign ministry (Utenriksdepartementet, UD), claim they’re often treated quite differently than the diplomats and staff sent to the embassies from Norway. Lower pay, poorer benefits, less protection and longer work hours are among complaints being lodged with UD officials back in Oslo. […]

Norway pledges funds for maternal health care

Norwegian officials announced they’d be donating USD 80 million (around NOK 500 million) to a new US-initiated international program aimed at improving maternal health care in Africa. The funding was awarded during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Norway. The money will be used to help fund one of Clinton’s new priorities, […]