When I was growing up, Norway wasn’t the rich, oil-producing, technologically advanced country that you see today. The last import restrictions on cars weren’t lifted until 1960. Telephone coverage was spotty: If you wanted a phone in your house, you might have to wait up to two years for a technician to come install one.
Every now and then I meet people who ask me about the level of social welfare services available in Norway. Many are impressed by the coverage, which includes health care benefits for everyone, one year of parental leave, unemployment benefits and a minimum retirement payment—even for people who have never worked.
Each month, “Ambassador’s Insights” will address various topics facing modern Norway and the bilateral relations between Norway and the U.S. This article first appeared in Viking’s July 2019 issue. This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the first commercial oil and gas field, Ekofisk, in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. Growing up in Oslo in the 1960s [...]
Last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While most people probably have a vague idea of what fundamental human rights are, we live in a part of the world where many—myself included—probably take them more or less for granted.
Every May, Norwegians all over the world celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day. Signed 205 years ago, Norway’s is the second-oldest written constitution in the world that is still in use. The oldest, which in many ways served as a model for Norway’s founding fathers, is the American Constitution.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve published a blog on various topics pertaining to international diplomacy, first on HuffingtonPost.com and then on WashingtonDiplomat.com. While I enjoyed the opportunity to get my thoughts out there, I was never sure I was reaching quite the right audience.