Trygve Lie Video Challenge speech

3/14/2011 // A new award named after the UN’s first Secretary-General Trygve Lie was launched on Saturday March 12. Norway’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, revealed the winner of the first ever Trygve Lie Video Challenge during the closing ceremony of the National High School Model UN conference 2011.

"It’s a pleasure to join you at the closing ceremonies of the National High School Model UN conference. And also to announce the first ever winner of the Trygve Lie Video Challenge.

We are here today to give credit to youth and ambition. You represent both.

A few months ago His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Norway set a challenge. He asked you to imagine the world twenty years from now, and to imagine that you were the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  Crown Prince Haakon invited you to capture your ideas on video.

The challenge that was set that day was in the name of the Norwegian politician and lawyer Trygve Lie... the man who in 1946 became the very first Secretary-General of the United Nations.

While Trygve Lie represents the wisdom and experience of the past, all of you – gathered here in the General Assembly Hall today - represent the hopes and the enthusiasm of the future.

Trygve Lie began what he himself called “the most difficult job in the world” just after the Second World War. The world was tired of conflict, tired of hate and tired of anger.

As United Nations 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. He was also firm and not afraid to act in the name of peace. In 1948 Lie authorised the first ever United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Middle East. That operation still exists today. 

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. From the start, Lie had the odds stacked against him. He had humble beginnings. He was born in a working class neighbourhood just outside the Norwegian capital Oslo. His father left the family and headed to America even before Trygve was born. He was never heard from again. But Trygve’s mother made sure that the young Trygve Lie never ran out of dreams and ambitions. Trygve was the first in his family to be educated. He was also keen to give back to his community and spent his evenings reading newspapers aloud for factory workers that could not read.

If history teaches us anything, it’s that we must never stop talking to each other. We must never give up on finding solutions that will better everyone’s future.  As diplomats at the United Nations we know that this can be a very challenging and at times frustrating process. This week you have most probably felt the same.

The Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations congratulates all those who have taken part in this year’s National High School Model UN Conference in New York. We thank all who took part in the video challenge. Your entries were creative and uplifting.

This is certain: whether or not you made a video, you ALL seized the challenge that was set. You have imagined yourself in another person’s shoes.  And that’s a lesson for life.

Now I am proud to announce that the winner of the Trygve Lie Video Challenge is:

Ohel Shem High School    -   from Ramat Gan, Israel!

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