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Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim took the lead of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in January 2013, a position to which he was unanimously elected. He is now also serving as United Nations Environment Programme’s special envoy for environment, conflict and disaster. From 2007 to 2012 he held the combined portfolio of Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development; he also served as Minister of International Development from 2005 to 2007. During his time as Minister, Mr. Solheim emphasised the importance of conflict prevention, highlighted capital, taxation and business as engines of development, and sought to integrate development assistance into overall foreign policy. He brought Norwegian aid up to 1 percent of the GDP, making it with Sweden the highest in the world. Mr. Solheim cites as one of his most important achievements his role in establishing the UN REDD, the global program to conserve the world rain forests. He also initiated Norwegian partnership with countries such as Brazil, Guyana and Indonesia. Solheim also introduced important new legislation in Norway, notably the Nature Diversity Act that led to the creation of many new national parks. He has received several awards for his work on climate and the environment, including UNEP's “Champion of the Earth” award. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Solheim was the main negotiator in the peace process in Sri Lanka. He has also contributed to peace processes in Burundi, Nepal, Myanmar and Sudan. Solheim was leader of the Socialist Left party (SV) from 1987 to 1997 and served as a member of the Norwegian parliament for twelve years.

Entries by Erik Solheim

Shock and Joy in Sri Lanka

(17) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 4:31 PM

The election shock on Sri Lanka has been called a model for how reformist elites and a fed up people can get rid of increasingly authoritarian leaders. To become a true role model, the reincarnated Sri Lankan democracy must in the next years deliver political reform, inclusive development and devolved...

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Catalytic Development Assistance in Fragile States

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 9:42 AM

A decreasing share of development assistance is going to the countries most in need despite of record high total foreign aid at 135 billion. The new OECD Development Cooperation Report calls for mobilizing more and better development assistance. Effective development assistance must be used catalytically in fragile states by...

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Fragile Peace Process in South Sudan

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 9:34 AM

It might be the beginning of the end of the nightmare in South Sudan when Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Norwegian Foreign Minister Brende open a donor conference in Oslo today. For that to happen, we must fund peace keepers, support peace entrepreneurs and ensure that...

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Hope in the Central African Republic

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 3:19 PM

The first impression on arrival in Bangui, the capital of the conflict ridden Central African Republic, is the horrendous pillaging. Many people have fled their homes and ended up in the refugee camp right there at Bangui airport. The abandoned homes, hospitals and government buildings have been looted in ways...

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How Could We Get It So Wrong?

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 1:30 PM

South Sudan suddenly exploded into a chaos of mass murder and ethnic fighting on December 15 last year. President Salva Kiir had fired his Vice President Riek Machar and the secretary-general of SPLM, the ruling party and the only political machine in the land, in an attempt to consolidate power....

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