NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg marked the 10th anniversary of the July 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway on Thursday (22 July 2021) saying that “hatred is still present”, but that open societies will prevail.
Copyright: Geir Olsen / NTB
“Time and again, we are reminded that democracy has not been won once and for all. We need to fight for it. Every single day”, he said in a speech at Oslo Cathedral.
Mr. Stoltenberg was Prime Minister during the deadly terrorist attacks which killed 77 people in Oslo and at a youth camp in Utoya on 22 July 2011.
The Secretary General praised freedom of expression in his remarks, calling it “the very core of democracy” and essential for countering violent extremism. He made clear that terror must be fought with many means, including the police, intelligence and military power, but that they were not enough. “Our most powerful weapon is our values. Trust in each other, trust in democracy and solid communities”, he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg, alongside Prime Minister Erna Solberg and members of the royal family attended a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral, which also included victims’ families, friends and representatives of the AUF, the Labour Party’s youth wing, that hosted the camp on Utoya. “Terrorists can decide to take lives, but we decide they cannot take our democracy and our free and open society from us”, he said.