The Profiles in Courage Award 2012.
The Kennedy Society has intended to present for 2012 The Profiles in Courage Award - John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage” - to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, based on this Laudation: For his courage to fight for democracy, openness and humanity. After the terror in Norway July 2011 he said in the Cathedral of Oslo: ”We are still shocked, but we never give up our values. Our answer is more democracy, more openness, more humanity. But never naivety.”
These words challenged the concealment of the truth and the falseness which led to acts of terror. His words showed courage not to be engulfed in hatred and not to continue in a vicious circle where war of terror leads to terror of war.
The words challenge everyone’s responsibility to prevent terror, arms trafficking, and preventing war.
After the tragedy Jens Stoltenberg put courage in the centre of our attention: “Nobody has said it better than a girl in an interview to CNN. ‘If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we all are able to show.’”
At a funeral for two of the victims in the tragedy he said a few days later in a mosque: “We shall have one fellowship contrary to different religions, ethnicity, sex and rank.”
In the book “Jens og Thorvald Stoltenberg, samtaler,” 2009, Jens Stoltenberg tells: “The first time I came into politics it happened much through Camilla, my elder sister and Vietnam. It was bound in strong idealism and inveterate opposition to the United States’ war in Vietnam.” Also it is “interaction, uniting many interests which make things exiting but also quite difficult.” And about being in politics, “It is to have some goals, some visions, some values and then strive towards them.”
These words are similar to the words of Robert F. Kennedy who wrote against the war in Vietnam in his book “To Seek a Newer World” (1967), “Guns and bombs cannot fill empty stomachs or educate children, cannot build homes or heal the sick. But these are the ends for which men establish and obey governments.” Just as it is according to Robert F. Kennedy’s words June 1, 1968, where he appealed “to win the greatest victory of all: The victory over war itself.” “No one can tread us into silence with bombs and shootings” are the corresponding words of Jens Stoltenberg.For many years Jens Stoltenberg has been an outstanding champion for preserving rain forests. He has, as his predecessor, Gro Harlem Brundtland, marked himself internationally for a far-sighted climate policy and attended as a Prime Minister in the Climate conference in Mexico, 2010. Also he has wanted and developed a good neighbourliness in Northern Norway between the Russian and Norwegian peoples. After the July 22 report 2012 Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed his responsibility and lived up to Robert F. Kennedy’s words about the courage to admit mistakes in order to correct them.