Another round of football for sustainability at G20

Solberg Modi Sustainability G20Prime Minister Erna Solberg had a brief meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in Hamburg. After the meeting, Modi got a ball by Solberg, where the goals of the organization Global Citizen were written. Norway is an important contributor to this organization and is fronting it under the G20.Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Another round of football for sustainability at the G20

A football with sustainability goals has become one of the government’s most beloved gimmicks. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) did not let the chance to score a goal or two pass her by at the G20 summit.


When the Prime Minister is to meet other heads of state, the ball is virtually always with her in her luggage. As most Norwegians are aware Solberg is an ardent supporter of the football club Brann from her home town, Bergen.

Some are sporty and play along while others place themselves offside and politely decline. But when Solberg hit it with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a bilateral meeting on the bylines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, she hit a century.

Modi willingly participated in the team picture

Trump imitation Bergen Solberg Nordic

Family picture of the five Nordic prime ministers during the prime ministerial meeting at Cornelius Seafood Restaurant in Bergen. From the left, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Denmark, Erna Solberg, Norway, Finland, Juha Sipilä and Iceland’s Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson.
Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

– If you look here, I think this is your favorite goal. Clean water and good sanitation, Solberg said, pointing at the ball.

– I like this! Modi retorted.

The 17 sustainability goals adopted by the UN in 2015 are listed on the ball. Clean water and good sanitation is goal number six.

Solberg is a leader in the sustainability goals group called Global Citizen.

The football became world famous when the other Heads of State in the Nordic Region were pictured with it. The picture was initially viewed as a rather rude parody of a picture where US President Donald Trump holds his hands on a shining globe together with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This was later refuted by Solberg who stated that it had been planned for months.

Lambs to the slaughter

On a side note Saudi Arabia’s King Salman cancelled his visit, but did send 20 lambs to the slaughter in his stead.

At the G20 summit, Solberg has talked with Trump several times. But any picture with him and the sustainability ball is not available yet. It might be that he believes that a football should be oblong. But who knows, perhaps Modi will bring with him a cricket ball next time around. That is at least reminiscent of a baseball and also fits easier into your hands.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today