The Nordic Ministers for Co-operation have decided that Dagfinn Høybråten from Norway will be the new Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers from March 2013.
"Nordic co-operation is a high priority of the Norwegian government. In Norway's capacity as President of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012, it is my pleasure to announce that Dagfinn Høybråten, with his long-standing commitment to the Nordic Region and his broad political experience, has agreed to take over leadership of the organisation", says Norway's Minister for Co-operation, Rigmor Aasrud.
Dagfinn Høybråten is one of the Vice Presidents of the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget. He has broad political and administrative experience as minister, insurance director, municipal executive and director of the Norwegian Association of Local Authorities. He has been party and parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Party (KrF). On the international scene, Høybråten is chair of the global vaccine alliance GAVI.
Throughout his entire political life Dagfinn Høybråten has been actively engaged in Nordic co-operation. As Minister of Health, and later Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, he participated in the Nordic Council of Ministers for more than 6 years. He has been the head of the Norwegian Delegation to the parliamentary co-operation the Nordic Council, and President of the Nordic Council.
"When I was asked to be Norway's candidate for the post as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers I saw it as an opportunity to continue my commitment to the Nordic social model in a time of crisis when many look to the Nordic Region as a model. Nordic co-operation is in developing rapidly, especially in foreign and defence policies. My task will be, together with good partners, to develop, reform and streamline co-operation in the Region", says Dagfinn Høybråten.
In 2013 Høybråten will replace Halldór Ásgrímsson, who has been Secretary General for six years.
Nordic co-operation is one of the world’s most extensive forms of regional collaboration, involving Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland.
Nordic co-operation has firm traditions in politics, the economy, and culture. It plays an important role in European and international collaboration, and aims at creating a strong Nordic community in a strong Europe.
Nordic co-operation seeks to safeguard Nordic and regional interests and principles in the global community. Common Nordic values help the region solidify its position as one of the world’s most innovative and competitive.
The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers are responsible for interparliamentary and intergovernmental co-operation respectively. Key issues addressed include gender equality, sustainable development, green growth and the Nordic welfare model.
The co-operation is regulated by the Helsinki Treaty (1971). Norway holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012.