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Norwegian prime minister on Trump's immigration comments

Global GoalsCast 1
Global GoalsCast 1 10:55

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and President Trump recently attended the World Economic Forum, which was held in Davos, Switzerland. Solberg spoke with Hub Culture executive editor Edie Lush -- co-host of Global GoalsCast -- about her conversation with Mr. Trump on immigration.  

Mr. Trump, during a conversation in the Oval Office, recently said he'd prefer to see immigration from Norway over what he called "sh*thole countries." Solberg responded: "We peaked in immigration to the U.S. in 1886, so there are as many Norwegian Americans as there are Norwegians in Norway. So, I think we have done our deal to the people in the U.S."

"He treated me very nicely, politely, and it was an interesting discussion. Between Norway and the U.S., it's usually about security policies," Solberg said. "We are neighbors to Russia in the north. We have the longest sea line. We are quite a long country, scarcely populated. The control of the North Atlantic at sea is extremely important for the connection in NATO between the American parts of NATO and the whole of Europe."

"But I also hope that we'll see a U.S. that understands security policies about preventing conflict, also about following up on the sustainable development goals in the future, environmental change that has to stop," she continued. "All of these issues are important." 

"After he met with you, he indicated in fact that the U.S. could re-enter the Paris Accord," Lush interjected. "What kind of powers of persuasion were you using with him?"

"He said that he felt that the Paris accord was a bad deal for the U.S., but he wasn't against doing something about climate change. So, I'm not sure if I have very good powers of persuasion, but I think I made an argument for it," Solberg said. "There is a lot of technology development now because some of us, like Norway, is doing strict policies on Co2 emissions; meaning that there is business opportunities. Over 40 percent of new car sales in Norway are either hybrid or electrical cars. There are business opportunities in this." 

Solberg went on to say that the U.S. remains the "world's most innovative country" that creates the most "new types of technology." 

"If you put that to work to the benefit of climates, it will really also create jobs in the U.S.," she said. 

Norwegian leader on Trump 03:10

Last year, the United Nations named Norway as the world's happiest country, significantly outranking the U.S. 

Solberg credited a "good education system" and "ways of large trust in the institution" for her country's success. 

"It's a trust in politicians, it's a trust in government institutions, it's a trust in their legal system, and what I think is important to encourage, which you have to have political parties that are open for change, open to reach out to people," she said. "And also not just election machines, but in fact have real political debates about 'Where do you go from here?' which I hope we have in our society." 

"One of our challenges is to make sure that those aspects of our society is kept when we have more migrants who have come, more refugees who have come in the last years, and when they bring their families they should also get into the Norwegian society," Solberg added. "That's one of the biggest things we are working on now. Children of immigrants should have the same possibilities as the children of people born in Norway."

Is it possible to change the world? Can we still make the planet a better place for us all to live? UN special adviser Claudia Romo Edelman and Hub Culture executive editor Edie Lush -- hosts of the Global Goalscast -- believe the answer is a resounding 'yes,' and that everyone can play a part. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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