Børge Brende, the President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), became a Freeman of the City of London at a recent ceremony.
The World Economic Forum is a non-profit international organisation promoting cooperation between the public and private sector. Independent and impartial, it engages leaders from areas like politics, business, and culture, to shape regional, global and industry agendas.
The Forum holds an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together world leaders to discuss global issues.
Mr Brende joined the Forum as Managing Director in 2008. He was also a member of the Norwegian Parliament from 1997 to 2009. His Ministerial roles included Foreign Affairs; Environment; and Trade and Industry.
Mr Brende was Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development from 2003 to 2004, in his capacity as Environment Minister. He has also been Secretary General of Red Cross Norway. He was nominated by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, and Alderman Sir William Russell.
Børge Brende said:
I am delighted and proud to be awarded the Freedom and join a nearly 800-year-old tradition that has recognised some of the world’s foremost leaders. This is a huge honour.
Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, said:
We are delighted to have awarded the Freedom of the City to Børge. He has worked tirelessly to help combat key issues such as climate change and global poverty. His longstanding contributions to the World Economic Forum have had a lasting positive impact and it is fitting they are recognised in this way.
City of London Corporation elected Member, Alderman Sir William Russell said:
Børge is a distinguished figure on the global stage. It is a privilege to recognise his many contributions in building international cooperation to deal with issues that shape the world.
One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients, who were also required to join a Livery Company, to carry out their trade.
As well as being nominated for, or applying for, the Freedom, it is also offered by the City of London Corporation to individuals as a way of paying tribute to their outstanding contribution to London or public life, or to celebrate a very significant achievement.