Speech/statement | Date: 10/03/2009
"Europe needs a strong and vibrant Council of Europe. The challenges we are facing require a committed and dedicated Council and a Secretary General to defend and uphold our common values and standards," Støre says in his explanation for Mr Jagland's nomination as Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
In a steadily changing world, the Council of Europe needs to consolidate its place among the European institutions by remaining politically relevant and responding appropriately to the challenges faced by its member states.
Norway believes that today, more than at any previous moment in history, Europe needs a strong and vibrant Council of Europe. The challenges we are facing require a committed and dedicated Council and Secretary General to defend and uphold our common values and standards. This is why the Norwegian Government has nominated Mr Thorbjørn Jagland for this important position. He has served both as Prime Minister of Norway and as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has been a member of the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) since 1993, and has for the last four years held the prominent position of President of the Storting.
Throughout his political career, Mr Jagland has been closely involved in international politics, and has held a number of international political positions. He was recently elected Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year. Mr Jagland has broad support from all the political parties in Norway, and is known to be a person of high integrity and a strong defender of human rights, rule of law and democratic principles. I believe that with his extensive experience from both parliament and government positions, Mr Jagland will be able to build bridges and promote closer cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and the Committee of Ministers.
The upcoming election of a new Secretary General will be the first since the Warsaw Summit in 2005, and it is an important opportunity to revitalise the organisation by electing a candidate of the highest ability and integrity, in line with the recommendation in the report of Prime Minister Juncker of Luxembourg and the subsequent decision by the Committee of Ministers.
I believe that if Mr Jagland is elected Secretary General, he will bring new life and inspiration to the Council of Europe. I am confident that strong support from governments and parliamentarians will further strengthen his mandate to lead and reform the Council of Europe. With his political experience and broad range of international contacts, Mr Jagland will contribute to heightening the visibility and political relevance of the organisation, and improve the cooperation between the Council of Europe, the EU and the OSCE.
Home page for Mr Jagland's candidacy