The prominent Norwegian politician Thorvald Stoltenberg is a great friend of the city of Skopje. He has exceptional merit for the aid he has offered the city of Skopje after the 1963 catastrophic earthquake. At the time of the earthquake, Stoltenberg worked as a Secretary in the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, former SFRY. After the news of the earthquake, on the morning of 26th July 1963, Stoltenberg immediately left for Skopje, together with his colleague from the Danish Embassy. Deeply moved by the situation he saw in the city, he informed the Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Red Cross, pointing out the need of urgent aid for the casualties of the severe misfortune. The Norwegian Red Cross instantly began undertaking activities for sending aid to the distressed Skopje. Only a single day after the earthquake 2,300 woollen blankets, 80 kilos of antibiotics, 250 kits for blood transfusion, as well as 5,000 first aid kits were sent to Skopje on a transport plane. Thorvald Stoltenberg coordinated this humanitarian action of the Norwegian Red Cross intended for Skopje. is a great friend of the city of Skopje. He has exceptional merit for the aid he has offered the city of Skopje after the 1963 catastrophic earthquake.
In the days after the earthquake, the Norwegian delegation arrived in Skopje, consisting of Government representatives and NGO representatives from Norway. The delegation seeing the hard condition in which Skopje found itself, recognized the needs and requests of the Macedonian and Skopje authorities at the time. As a result of the large aid from the Norwegian and the Danish Government and the Norwegian Red Cross, the Children’s Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases was built in Skopje. Thorvald Stoltenberg coordinated the operations related to the construction of this hospital in Skopje, until its opening in 1965.
Thorvald Stoltenberg was born in 1931 in Oslo, Norway. He studied International Law and International Relations in Austria, Switzerland, USA and Finland. During his rich political and diplomatic carrier, ambassador Stoltenberg was the vice-consul to San Francisco (1959-1961), secretary in the Norwegian Embassy in former SFRY (1961-1964), secretary and executive officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, consul in the Norwegian Embassy in Lagos (1970), Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade. In 1984, Stoltenberg was a member of the Oslo Council, from the lines of the Labour Party and a member of the executive authority of Oslo, responsible for cultural issues. He has also worked as a member of Financing and Planning Committees. In the period 1985-1987 he was Deputy Mayor of Oslo.
Thorvald Stoltenberg is married and has three children. His son, Jens Stoltenberg is a prominent politician in Norway from the Labour Party and is the current Prime Minister of Norway.