Photo: Norway UN Mission/Emma K Lydersen.Photo: Norway UN Mission/Emma K Lydersen

Students take on Trygve Lie Challenge

3/14/2011 // Over 2500 students filled the UN General Assembly on Saturday March 12 for the launch of a new award named after the UN’s first Secretary-General Trygve Lie. Norway’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, revealed the winner of the inaugural Trygve Lie Challenge during the closing ceremony of the National High School Model UN conference 2011.

The Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York joined forces with NHSMUN to establish an initiative in honor of the first UN Secretary-General, the Norwegian lawyer and politician Trygve Lie.

“The story of Trygve Lie is in many ways a traditional rags to riches story. Lie was the world leader who hailed from Norway, an outpost of the world and a country few could place on a map. As UN Secretary-General, Lie used his position to focus on what we all have in common, not on what divides us. Lie strongly believed that common ground can found between all people through dialogue and understanding,” Ambassador Smith said in her speech.

The goal of the Trygve Lie Challenge is to raise awareness of international issues and encourage creative thinking among young adults. This year, the challenge was presented by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Norway. In a video message when the competition was launched, HRH Crown Prince Haakon encouraged delegations taking part in the National High School Model UN conference to submit a short video where they imagined themselves as UN Secretary-General twenty years from now.

“If I were the UN Secretary-General in 2030, which I for obvious reasons will not be, then I would hope to live in a world where access to clean energy becomes a reality for all. A world where all children can study after the sun sets and adults are relieved of back-breaking and time-consuming manual labor. And children, as well as men and women the world over, are free to explore their true potential. Now you have a go. Imagine yourself as the UN Secretary-General in 2030. How has the world changed? How will you protect fundamental freedoms and help people build a better life?” HRH Crown Prince Haakon said.

The Model UN delegation from Ohel Shem High School in the Israeli town of Ramat Gan seized the challenge and produced a winning entry that Ambassador Smith praised as both “creative and uplifting”.

Students from Ohel Shem High School, Israel produced the winning entry.

Every year hundreds of students, including Model UN teams from Russia, Sweden, Germany and Norway, visit the Permanent Mission of Norway to learn about the world organization and Norway’s priorities.

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