|Birth Day:||March 16, 1959|
|Birth Place:||Oslo, Norway|
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After earning a degree in economics from the University of Oslo, he participated in several Vietnam War-era protests and went on to lead the Norwegian Labour Party's Workers' Youth League and to work for a company called Statistics Norway and for a publication titled Arbeiderbladet.
From 1979 to 1981, Stoltenberg was a journalist for Arbeiderbladet. From 1985 to 1989, he was the leader of the Workers' Youth League. From 1989 to 1990, he worked as an Executive Officer for Statistics Norway, Norway's central institution for producing official statistics. He also worked part-time as an hourly paid instructor at the University of Oslo during this period. Between 1990 and 1992, he was leader of the Oslo chapter of the Labour Party.
After leaving the army, Stoltenberg enrolled at the University of Oslo, graduating in 1987 with the cand.oecon. degree in economics. The title of his thesis was Makroøkonomisk planlegging under usikkerhet. En empirisk analyse ("Macroeconomic planning under uncertainty. An empirical analysis").
Up to 1990, he had regular contacts with a Soviet diplomat. He ended this relationship after being informed by the Norwegian Police Security Service his contact was a KGB agent, warning him of further contact. Stoltenberg's code name within the KGB was "Steklov".
Stoltenberg served as State Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment from 1990 to 1991. He was first elected to Parliament in 1993 for the Oslo constituency, and is a member of the Labour Party. He served as Minister of Industry from 1993 to 1996, until Brundtland resigned.
In 1996, Thorbjørn Jagland became Prime Minister, and Stoltenberg became Minister of Finance. On 29 September 1997, Jagland resigned because of an ultimatum he had issued stating that the cabinet would resign should the party receive less than 36.9% of the popular vote. Labour only received 35.0%; true to his promise, Jagland resigned as a consequence of its 36.9 ultimatum, and power was transferred to the first cabinet of Kjell Magne Bondevik. After Jagland's resignation and while in parliamentary opposition, Stoltenberg served on the standing committee on Oil and Energy Affairs in the Storting. He became the Parliamentary Leader and Prime Minister candidate for the Labour Party in February 2000.
In 2000, the first cabinet of Bondevik resigned following an unsuccessful motion of confidence. Stoltenberg's first cabinet governed Norway from 17 March 2000 to 19 October 2001. Stoltenberg was the deputy leader of the labor party while Jagland was the party leader. Instead Jagland was given the post as Foreign Minister. Stoltenberg's first tenure as Prime Minister (2000–2001) was controversial within his own party, being responsible for reforms and modernisation of the welfare state that included part-privatising several key state-owned services and corporations. In the parliamentary election of 10 September 2001, the party suffered one of its worst results ever, winning only 24% of the vote.
The 2001, election met with instability for the Labour Party. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet stated: "We are heading for a political earthquake when the votes are counted tonight, if we believe the opinion polls." In an interview with The Associated Press Jagland stated "It is unstable and unpredictable." After the election in 2001, Stoltenberg and his cabinet were forced to resign, with the Labour Party suffering from its worst election campaign results since 1924. With the 98% votes taken, the Labour Party only garnered 24%, falling from 35%. Jagland, the Labor Party leader, commented on the results saying, "We will have to make a decision about whether to continue in government after we know the full results". After the election Stoltenberg said, "What is clear is that this was a very bad election."
Party leader election The bad election result in 2001 was quickly followed by a leadership battle between Jagland and Stoltenberg. Both Jagland, as leader, and Stoltenberg, as deputy leader, said they were open to be challenged for their positions at the party's congress in November 2002. Stoltenberg refused to say whether he would challenge Jagland for the leadership position, which was seen by political commentators as a sign that he probably would seek the leadership position. In the beginning of February 2002, Jagland, who had been briefly hospitalized in January, and had a subsequent sick leave, said that he would not seek reelection as leader. In November 2002, Stoltenberg was unanimously elected new leader at the party's congress.
Stoltenberg has been an advocate for having all the world's children vaccinated against infectious diseases. The first speech he gave in his second term as Prime Minister was during Norway's "Pharmaceutics days" in 2005 under the title "Vaccination against poverty". Stoltenberg was director of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) from 2002 to 2005 and was awarded the Children's Health Award in 2005.
Stoltenberg has criticized Israel over alleged violations of international law in the Palestinian Territories as well as in international waters, such as the Gaza flotilla raid. In 2006, Stoltenberg stated that "Norway condemns Israel's actions against Palestinians. Such collective punishment is totally unacceptable." Stoltenberg praised doctors Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse for their humanitarian work in the Gaza Strip during the Gaza War, stating that "all of Norway" was behind them.
Partnering with tropical countries to preserve more of their rainforest to bind carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was a policy of the Stoltenberg government. In 2007, the government received support from the opposition to a long-term agreement to finance forest conservation with 3 billion NOK annually.
Stoltenberg's second cabinet governed Norway from 17 October 2005 to 16 October 2013. The 2005 parliamentary election saw a vast improvement for Labour, and the party gained a majority in parliament together with the other "Red-Green" parties, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party. This paved the way for a historic first in Norway, with Labour joining in a coalition government, the Red-Green Coalition, after a coalition deal with Stoltenberg was struck. Since the government's formation, key political issues such as Norwegian military participation in the war in Afghanistan, petroleum activities in the Barents Sea, LGBT rights, immigration and the quality of standard education were greatly debated by the public. Following Stoltenberg's re-election in 2009, he worked on the Swedish response to the ongoing global recession and championed for environmentalist policies through private and corporate taxation.
Stoltenberg through his governing advocated that international agreements with global taxes or quotas are the most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the UN Climate Change Conference 2009, a separate proposal on the preservation of rainforests with funding from rich countries, advanced by Stoltenberg and Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2009 obtained support from among others U.S. President Barack Obama during COP15 in Copenhagen.
A marine border dispute with Russia in the Barents Sea since 1978 was settled when Stoltenberg and President of Russia Dimitry Medvedev signed an agreement on 27 April 2010 in Oslo. The agreement is a compromise, which divides a disputed area of around 175,000 km2 (68,000 sq mi) into two approximately equally sized parts. However, the agreement still needs ratification by the State Duma and the Parliament of Norway in order to be implemented. Whereas Norway had previously insisted on a border in accordance with the equidistance principle, which is recognized in international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea Article 15 and the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone Article 6, Russia invoked a Stalin-era decree of the Soviet Union from 1926, which was not recognised by any other country. The new agreement replaced a controversial temporary agreement negotiated by Jens Evensen and Arne Treholt, who was later revealed to be a Soviet spy and who aided the Soviet Union in the negotiations. Most of the disputed area was within what would normally be considered Norwegian according to the relevant international treaties.
The summit in Copenhagen ended without a binding agreement, but before the subsequent COP16 in Cancún, Stoltenberg succeeded then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the leadership of the committee dealing with the financing of climate actions in developing countries, also consisting of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Under a separate forest and climate conference in Oslo in May 2010, a proposal was presented to a number of countries, with final delivery of the report in autumn 2010.
He prefers to spend his summer vacations at his family's cottage on the idyllic Hvaler Islands in the Oslofjord. An avid outdoorsman, he rides his bike often and during the winter season he is an active cross-country skier. In December 2011, in order to mark 100 years since Roald Amundsen reached the south pole on skis, Stoltenberg journeyed to Antarctica.
On 22 July 2011, a bomb went off in Oslo outside the government building which houses the prime minister's office, killing eight people while wounding others. About an hour later, a shooting spree, which killed 69 people, was reported at Utøya, an island forty-five minutes away where the ruling Labour Party was holding its annual youth camp. The PM was due for a visit at the youth camp the next day, and was in his residence preparing his speech at the time of the Oslo explosion.
On Sunday 24 July, Stoltenberg spoke at the church service in the Oslo Cathedral. He named two of the victims at Utøya, Monica Bøsei, who was the camp's leader, and Tore Eikeland, who was the leader of the youth chapter in Hordaland. He again vowed to work for more democracy, openness, and humanity, but without naivety. He also said that "No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together." The AUF girl mentioned is Stine Renate Håheim interviewed by CNN's Richard Quest on 23 July 2011. Håheim again quoted her friend Helle Gannestad, who had tweeted this from home, watching events unfold on TV.
Stoltenberg took an international role during the financial crisis by promoting international financial cooperation. This was among other arenas done through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a meeting in Chile 27–29 March 2009 where social democratic leaders from around the world met at a Progressive Governance Conference, just prior to the first G20 summit on the financial crisis. President Bill Clinton was among the delegates and panel that would chart a way out of the financial crisis, which included the host Michelle Bachelet, Britain's finance minister Gordon Brown, Brazil's President Lula da Silva and Stoltenberg. A special emergency meeting of the European Social Democratic Forum (PES) was gathered in Oslo in May 2011, on an initiative from Stoltenberg and the think tank Policy Network.
In 2011, Stoltenberg received the United Nations (UN) Champion of Global Change Award in New York City, chosen for his extraordinary effort toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals and bringing fresh ideas to global problems. In 2013, Stoltenberg served as a UN special envoy on climate change (global warming), and he has chaired the UN High-Level Panel on System Wide Coherence and the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing.
On 24 August 2012, 33-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik was found guilty by the Oslo District Court of having perpetrated by himself both terrorist attacks, the bombing of the prime minister's office and the shooting spree on Utøya island, and was convicted to containment, a special form of prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely – with a time frame of 21 years and a minimum time of 10 years, which, in all, is the maximum penalty in Norway.
On 3 September 2012, Norwegian daily Klassekampen wrote that the Gjørv Report on the terrorist attack "is the hardest verdict against a Norwegian cabinet since the Fact-Finding Commission of 1945 ensured that Johan Nygaardsvold's political career was abruptly halted." Stoltenberg said after the report was published that he had "ultimate responsibility for the preparedness in our country, a responsibility I take seriously," but he said he would not resign.
Stoltenberg was the Prime Minister candidate for the Red-Green Coalition in the 2013 elections, seeking re-election for a third term.
On 9 September 2013, the coalition failed to win majority, with 72 of the required 85 mandates, despite the Labour Party remaining the largest party in Norway with 30.8%. In his speech the same night, he announced that his cabinet would resign in October 2013. Stoltenberg returned to the Parliament where he became parliamentarian leader for the Labour Party and a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. In December 2013, he was appointed by the United Nations as a Special Envoy on Climate Change, alongside the former Ghanaian president John Kufuor.
In his New Year speech on 1 January 2013, Stoltenberg spoke about vaccination of the world's children as a personal matter of the heart. "Small jabs are giving millions of children the gift of life. Simple medicines can save their mothers. The fact that all these mothers' and children's lives can be saved is – as I see it – a miracle of our time," Stoltenberg said in his speech.
In August 2013, Stoltenberg said on his Facebook page that he had spent an afternoon working incognito as a taxi driver in Oslo. Stoltenberg said he had wanted to "hear from real Norwegian voters" and that "taxis were one of the few places where people shared their true views." He added that, before driving the taxi, he had not driven a car in eight years. The event was videotaped in a hidden camera fashion, and released as a promotional video by the Labour party for the election campaign. It was later confirmed that 5 of the 14 customers were paid and recruited by the production company that produced the event for the Labour party. None, however, knew they would meet Stoltenberg.
He has one living sister, Camilla, a medical researcher and administrator who is one year older than him; and one late sister, Nini, four years younger, who died in 2014. Nini was a recovering heroin addict, and the Norwegian media have covered the family's efforts to cope with this challenge.
In January 2014 Jens Stoltenberg became United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change. During the meeting there he met with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as well as UN Framework Convention director Christiana Figueres and both Achim Steiner and Helen Clark of the United Nations Development Programme.
On 28 March 2014 NATO's North Atlantic Council appointed Stoltenberg as designated successor of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the 13th Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the council, effective from 1 October 2014. The appointment had been widely expected in the media for some time, and commentators pointed out that the alliance's policies toward Russia will be the most important issue faced by Stoltenberg. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, took the initiative to appoint Stoltenberg as Secretary-General, securing the support first of the United States, then of the United Kingdom, and then of all other member states. Norway was a founding member of NATO in 1949, and Stoltenberg is the first Norwegian to serve as Secretary-General, although former Conservative Party Prime Minister Kåre Willoch was considered a strong candidate in 1988.
In June 2015, Stoltenberg said: "I believe we don't see any immediate threat against any NATO country from the east. Our goal is still cooperation with Russia … That serves NATO and it serves Russia."
In September 2015, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babiš criticized NATO's lack of response to the European migrant crisis. After talks with Stoltenberg on migrant crisis issue Babiš said: "NATO is not interested in refugees, though Turkey, a NATO member, is their entrance gate to Europe and smugglers operate on Turkish territory".
Stoltenberg strongly condemned the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt and expressed full support for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government. He did not condemn the 2016–present purges in Turkey. In November 2016, Stoltenberg admitted that some "Turkish officers working in NATO command structures... have requested asylum in the countries where they are working."
In June 2016, Stoltenberg said it was essential to step up cooperation with Israel, since Israel had been an active alliance partner for 20 years. In June 2018, Stoltenberg told Der Spiegel that NATO would not help Israel in the case of an attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In 2016, Stoltenberg stated that the NATO strongly supported "the UN-led political process to find a solution" to the dispute over the northern part of Cyprus, which has been under illegal occupation since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
In 2017, Stoltenberg warned that Russia has used big military exercises, including Zapad 2017 exercise in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus, "as a disguise or a precursor for aggressive military actions against their neighbours."
In January 2018, in response to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin, Stoltenberg said that Turkey is "the NATO Ally which has suffered most from terrorist attacks over many years and Turkey, as all of the countries, have the right to self defence, but it is important that this is done in a proportionate and measured way."
In February 2018, Stoltenberg stated: "We don’t see any threat [from Russia] against any NATO ally and therefore, I’m always careful speculating too much about hypothetical situations." Stoltenberg welcomed the 2018 Russia–United States summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland. He said NATO is not trying to isolate Russia.
In March 2019, Stoltenberg stated that the former Soviet republic of "Georgia will become a member of NATO".
In April 2019, Stoltenberg warned a joint session of the U.S. Congress of threat posed by Russia. In May 2019, Stoltenberg hailed Turkey's contribution to NATO. He said: "Turkey joined the Alliance in 1952, and it continues to be a highly valued member of our family of nations. As secretary-general, I greatly appreciate all that Turkey does for our Alliance."
In August 2019, Stoltenberg warned that NATO needs to "address the rise of China," by closely cooperating with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. In June 2020, Stoltenberg urged like-minded nations to stand up to China's "bullying and coercion."
In October 2019, Turkey invaded the Kurdish areas in Syria. Stoltenberg said that Turkey has "legitimate security concerns" during press conference with Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
In December 2019, Stoltenberg told journalists in Brussels that "Since 2016, Canada and European allies have added $130 billion more to the defense budgets, and this number will increase to 400 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. This is unprecedented. This is making NATO stronger."
In October 2020, Stoltenberg called for an immediate end to the fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, an enclave that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
On 12 July 2020 he was the invited guest on the long running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs.
Currently, Jens Stoltenberg is 62 years, 4 months and 20 days old. Jens Stoltenberg will celebrate 63rd birthday on a Wednesday 16th of March 2022.
Find out about Jens Stoltenberg birthday activities in timeline view here.