In the forecourt of Geneva’s winter idyll not far from the Diplomatic developments in the city of the lake in which the peaks of the Swiss Alps are outlined in a 6-century old castle on the banks of the RHONE river with great anticipation as part of a generation of students on the Master’s program in the field of World Politics and Economy, we had the opportunity to be turned into ears intoxicated by the melody of the art of the word as well as the wisdom acquired during a long period of political engagements of the former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway His Excellency Kjell Magne Bondevik who was part of the plethora of celebrities as part of the process for continuing education organised by Professor Anis H. Bajraktarevic.
Excellency Bondevik was a child born after the Second World War, a period of significant devastating consequences for Europe. The human losses were extremely severe, and people were shocked. The economies of several European countries were left in tatters: industrial and agricultural infrastructures had been destroyed, towns and cities had been razed to the ground by bombing raids, means of communication had been damaged, and there were shortages of foodstuffs.
Soon relegated to second fiddle on the international stage by the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as two new superpowers, Western Europe realised that its recovery would come through unity, through the pooling of its economic resources where necessary with US financial, technical, and military support and the creation of jointly run, efficient institutions.
Western Europe hoped to reclaim its place on the international stage by uniting the peoples of Europe. We were faced with three fundamental questions. The first was economic: how could material damage be repaired and economic activity revived on the old continent? The second was political: how could they prevent the return of a conflict that had laid the continent and the world to waste? The third was cultural: how could the survival and renaissance of European civilisation be ensured in the face of the increasing threats of ideological schism and confrontation between the victorious American and Soviet blocs?
During significant turbulence, many political opponents were sent to the stage. Bondevik had the opportunity to build his career from the very roots of his youth and his family’s examples and mentors.
A year later, the Labor government fell and was replaced by a centre-coalition minority government, with Kjell Magne BONDEVIK of the Christian People’s Party as prime minister. (King Olaf V died in 1991 and was succeeded by his son, who ascended the throne as Harald V) Bondevik remained in office until 2000, when his government was replaced by a minority government led by the Labor Party, whose brief mandate ended in 2001 with the return of Bondevik, heading yet another conservative coalition until 2005.
The principles of family values and Christian Democratic values were the basis for development and direction of development and progress of Norway during Bondevik’s mandate and were expressed through the Ethical values of Christianity; Christian ethics helps us see both the personal and social dimensions of the gospel. Christian ministers and politicians must understand Christian ethics to give sound moral advice to their people. Commandments of love, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like unto it, and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Human dignity and human life are sacred because the human person is the most central and transparent reflection of God among us.
Bondevik achieved these principles through a long process of development education and experience gained in high positions in the Norwegian Administration, from a deputy through a minister to the Prime Minister, to introduce the principle of leading society through 4C values;
Cooperation – it is undoubtedly necessary to cooperate with all concerned parties representing the people’s voters
Compromise – as in every family and on the political stage, it is undoubtedly great wisdom to have a compromise and be the starting point for progress
Communication – the only way to achieve the goal if all parties had a shared focus on the progress of the state
Coordination – necessary for the realisation of all transiently stated values
After the end of his mandate as prime minister, the experience gained through diplomatic talks with various politicians, especially in the territory of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkan region concerning Kosovo and Bosnia, contributed to Bondevik being the initiator of the establishment of the OSLO CENTER, which in its principles possesses all the experiences from Bondevik’s prosperous career. Oslo Center is an independent non-profit organisation working in democratisation and democratic governance and is passionate about democratic values that contribute to strong and stable societies. Organisations believe in an inclusive and representative democracy where people are at the centre, with the rights and ability to influence their communities. Developing democracies is a long-lasting and meaningful journey, and we are honoured to support people working to make their country more democratic continuously. Over the last 15 years, the Oslo Center successfully implemented various projects and became a forum for dialogue between peer democracy assistance organisations, policy decision-makers, and political thinkers.
Many valuable topics were discussed throughout the 13 January, emphasising political dialogues, issues and their protection and preservation.
The crises in different global locations have witnessed violence in different forms. Still, always in the conversations, he tended to a peaceful solution so that they had many lessons to share on how to fulfil the plans with precisely that in other parts of the political scene.
Personal and political background His Excellency KJELL MAGNE BONDEVIK, the former Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000; 2001-2005).
Bondevik was born on September 3, 1947, in Molde, a city on Norway’s Romsdal peninsula along the Norwegian Sea. Kjell Magne Bondevik served as a member of Storting (Parliament of Norway) for the County of Møre og Romsdal from 1973-2005 and has been a member of Storting since 1973. Mr Bondevik was party leader of the Christian Democratic Party from 1983-1995. He was appointed Prime Minister again in October 2001, heading a coalition government between the Christian People’s Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. He served until 2005. Once his mandate as Prime minister was over, Mr Bondevik went on to found the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights in 2006. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him as the new Special Humanitarian Envoy for the Horn of Africa. This area includes the troubled regions of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. As an ordained minister and president of The Oslo Center, Mr Bondevik is deeply involved in petitions consisting of the Christian Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party. He served as his party’s parliamentary leader from 1981-1983, 1986-1989, 1993-1997, and 2000-2001. Mr Bondevik was Minister of Church and Education in Kåre Willoch’s government (1983-1986) and Minister of Foreign Affairs during the government of Jan P. Syse (1989-1990), .romoting international human rights and interfaith dialogue. He argues that instead of aggravating conflicts, religions – by focusing on shared values – can join forces and make constructive contributions to conflict resolution. Mr Bondevik joins the Council to discuss his organisation’s work in bringing influential politicians, religious leaders and academics into a much-needed dialogue on religion, tolerance, diversity, women’s rights and democracy. He will discuss his recent partnership with the former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, and how the two have been working together to increase understanding, reduce tensions, counter stereotypes, and promote peaceful dialogue between the Islamic world and the West.
Bondevik was awarded the Grand Cross of St. Olav in 2004, the first sitting Norwegian Prime Minister to receive the Order of St. Olav in 80 years. The award happened due to a change in the Statutes of the Order with automatic awards to the Prime Minister and Ministers of the Government that stirred some debate and criticism. He is a full member of the Club de Madrid, a group of former leaders of democratic states that works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership. Kjell Magne Bondevik is an Honorary Member of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. In 2009, Bondevik was awarded an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco.