Norec at 60: Building stronger ties in a changing world13. December 2023
As it marks its 60th anniversary, Norec is a key player in Norway's commitment to international cooperation and sustainable growth.
At the heart of its mission lies the principle of sharing knowledge, recognising that everyone — individuals and organisations alike — has something valuable to teach and learn. The anniversary event highlighted the importance of exchanging knowledge internationally as a vital step in fortifying global unity in a world that is constantly changing.
To celebrate the years since 1963, Norec invited partners, participants, politicians, and stakeholders to Førde. The anniversary event, titled “Norec — Shared Knowledge for 60 years” celebrated the past six decades and also looked forward to the future.
Norwegian State Secretary Bjørg Sandkjær from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, talked about the significance of Norec’s work. She said, “In times like these, when trust between countries is wearing thin, the kind of exchange and partnerships facilitated by Norec is important.”
Norec’s present and future impact
The event featured discussions with insights from partners like Haukeland University Hospital, the Wave Foundation in Bangladesh, and Youth Alive! Kenya (YAK). George Maina from YAK pointed out the opportunities potentially missed for youth organisations without Norec.
— Without Norec, we might have missed important needs in our youth organisations and lost chances to make a regional and global impact, Maina stated.
A panel, which included Deputy Secretary General Aslak Brun from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed the future role of Norec. Brun, reflecting on how Norec’s role has changed, mentioned the shift from traditional aid methods to a focus on collaboration at both individual and institutional levels, aiming to build trust.
— In the future, Norec will play an even more significant role than it does today. This is because it has shifted from the traditional way of working with aid, to concentrating on individuals, organisations and institutions. This builds trust.
The leader of Norad’s Knowledge Bank, Øyvind Eggen, backed up that statement.
— The world is dealing with a crisis of trust. The Norec model is well-suited for this. It builds relationships that are beneficial in a world where countries do not trust each other.
Norec is adaptable and learning
The concluding remarks of the event were given by the Norec Director of Programmes, Margunn Indrebø Alshaikh.
— Norec is flexible and always learning, providing a platform for tomorrow’s leaders and change agents. We will discover solutions to challenges in the future, even those we are not currently aware of.
As the anniversary event drew to a close, the atmosphere was not just one of celebration but of a renewed commitment to the ideals Norec has stood for for over six decades. In a world where building bridges of understanding and cooperation is more crucial than ever, Norec reaffirms its role as a vital builder of these bridges. Poised at the edge of new global challenges, Norec’s legacy and ongoing mission promise to continue shaping a world where shared knowledge and mutual respect are the cornerstones of a thriving global community.