Solberg wins first Global Citizen Prize

The Norwegian prime minister’s commitment to equal rights for women earns her this recognition

Global Citizen Prize

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Kjetil Lee
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been awarded the Global Citizen Prize.

Global Citizen

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been awarded the inaugural Global Citizen Prize for a World Leader for her unreserved commitment in fighting for the protection of women’s and girls’ rights.

Solberg was presented with the award by Graça Machel—politician, humanitarian, and widow of late statesman Nelson Mandela—at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, presented and hosted by the Motsepe Foundation, on Dec. 2 in Johannesburg.

Machel, who also champions the rights of African women, said acknowledging and celebrating the values of true leadership is at the heart of the Global Citizen Prize.

“Through her work as co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Advocacy Group, and head of one of

the most progressive countries in the world, the winner of this year’s prize is a force of global policy, economics, and development,” she continued.

She added: “[Solberg] has demonstrated a commitment to global education; support for sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls; and as a co-founder of the Education Commission, she pushes to have all children everywhere in school within a generation.”

The award is presented to individuals who work toward ending extreme poverty through initiatives, including using their political or advocacy space to implement policy changes that alleviate suffering.

“Hello Johannesburg! And greetings to all Global Citizens. Thank you very much, Graça!” said Solberg, as she accepted the award. “Thank you for this prize. It means the world to me. And, as you know, we are the world. And we must work together to get the world that we want.”

“Everybody out there—let us now work together for a just and a sustainable society,” she continued.

Solberg, whose political career spans almost three decades, has made it her business to see to it that women and young girls are afforded equal opportunities and rights.Recently, she teamed up with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Global Financing Facility to support women, children, and adolescents receiving quality health care and nutrition.

“There are many great partnerships, and Goal No. 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals is about partnerships,” Solberg said. “Take Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as an example. Since 2000, Gavi has contributed to the immunization of more than 690 million children.

“But make no mistake, we must all contribute if we are going to achieve the Global Goals,” she continued.

Solberg dedicated the prize to everyone who takes action for the creation of a more sustainable world—“that means you!”

She said: “By taking action, you are global citizens. For your neighborhood, for your country, for our world. And before I finish, let us bring to mind the words of Global Citizen Number One, Nelson Mandela: ‘As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.’”

 
This article originally appeared in the December 14, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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