The Declaration by Norway’s Prime Minister and Minster of Education to ICDE offering Norway as host country and permanent support to the ICDE

Oslo, City Hall, Norway

Oslo, City Hall, Norway

In August 1988, Norwegian Prime Minster Gro Harlem Brundtland, in the presence of Norway’s Head of State, His Majesty King Olav V, made the following declaration to the ICDE Executive Committee, ICDE’s membership and 14th ICDE World Conference in Oslo:

“The Norwegian Government considers the fact that the ICDE chose Norway as the location of its permanent international secretariat to be a sign of confidence in our traditions of distance education and in our country in general. I assure you that we appreciate this confidence, and that we are pleased to host and support this international centre for distance education. We also recognize the importance of the work done in Norway and abroad by the Norwegian Association of Distance Education, which must be one of the reasons behind the international distance education community’s decision to make Norway its permanent home. We hope that the secretariat will be able to make an important contribution to the development of international cooperation in this vital and expanding area.”


Norway’s Minster of Education, Mary Kvidal then stated:

The Norwegian Government is particularly delighted and proud that ICDE, in this year, has chosen to establish its permanent home in Norway. The decision of the International Council for Distance Education to establish its permanent secretariat in Oslo, and to appoint a Norwegian as its first secretary general, has been received by our government with interest and appreciation.”

In this connection I take the opportunity of thanking the president of ICDE, Kevin Smith, and his executive committee for the confidence they in this way have shown in the ability of this country to host the administrative headquarters of the world body for distance education.

We are confident that ICDE through its choice of its first secretary general, Mr. Reidar Roll, will benefit from this Norwegian centre of competence in its effort to develop strategies and activities to meet the future challenges of the world of distance education.

I can assure you that Secretary General and his staff at ICDE headquarters in Oslo will have the full support and co-operation of our government in the important work that lies ahead. At the same time we will, of course, follow the Scandinavian tradition of non- interference in the work of voluntary organizations.

We recognize that the international work that lies ahead for the ICDE permanent secretariat is of great importance, not only to ICDE itself, but also to institutions and nations in many parts of the world.

We realize, and appreciate the fact that ICDE has established its secretariat here in permanent bases, and it will therefore be our aim to provide the basic funding for its operations on a permanent basis. This will be one of the contributions of this country to international development and collaboration in the increasingly important field of distance education.”

These statements are honored since then by the Government of Norway, and form the basis for Norways’ support to ICDE.

Caroline Seville