Erik Solheim took the lead of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in January 2013, a position to which he was unanimously elected. He is now also serving as United Nations Environment Programme’s special envoy for environment, conflict and disaster. From 2007 to 2012 he held the combined portfolio of Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development; he also served as Minister of International Development from 2005 to 2007. During his time as Minister, Mr. Solheim emphasised the importance of conflict prevention, highlighted capital, taxation and business as engines of development, and sought to integrate development assistance into overall foreign policy. He brought Norwegian aid up to 1 % of the GDP, making it with Sweden the highest in the world. Mr. Solheim cites as one of his most important achievements his role in establishing the UN REDD, the global program to conserve the world rain forests. He also initiated Norwegian partnership with countries such as Brazil, Guyana and Indonesia. Solheim also introduced important new legislation in Norway, notably the Nature Diversity Act that led to the creation of many new national parks. He has received several awards for his work on climate and the environment, including UNEP's “Champion of the Earth” award. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Solheim was the main negotiator in the peace process in Sri Lanka. He has also contributed to peace processes in Burundi, Nepal, Myanmar and Sudan. Solheim was leader of the Socialist Left party (SV) from 1987 to 1997 and served as a member of the Norwegian parliament for twelve years.
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|Recent speeches and articles by the DAC Chair
- "Green growth is not a luxury – it is the future we want", European Commission, Andris Piebalg's Blog - Guest blog by Erik Solheim, 3 July 2013
- "Sharing Australia's expertise: Transparency in the natural resource sector", Australian AID blog, 27 June 2013.
- "Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development", International Institute for Sustainable Development", 3 June 2013.
- “No hay que conformarse con el PIB per cápita, sino que seguir aspirando a ser mejores”, Interview with Diario Financiero, 23 April 2013.
- "Beyond Busan: Aid in a rapidly changing world", Q&A session at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 18 April 2013 [Audio].
- Reply by DAC Chair Erik Solheim to Richard Manning's letter "OECD is ignoring its definition of overseas aid", published in the Financial Times on 9 April 2013
- "Reflections on the Future Role of the DAC and the challenges facing its new chair", 1 October 2012
Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
DAC Chair: J. Brian Atwood (2011-2012)