Information in English

After the Second World War, the Defence Commission of 1946 proposed that there should be formed an umbrella organization intended to convey neutral information to the general public about defence and security politics. In 1950 the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, unanimously approved the proposal.

Folk og Forsvar – People and Defence – was founded on February 26th 1951.

 

The main objective for People and Defence has, since its establishment in 1951, been to work for peace, freedom and democracy. Norwegian youth is the main target group, and all our activities and publications are free of charge. 

The mission statement is to be achieved by providing the Norwegian public with information regarding the defence and security policy decided upon by the Norwegian parliament. People and Defence will therefore not promote any personal political views, nor engage in normative discussions. People and Defence will instead provide background information, present different arguments and facts so that the Norwegian public is able to make up their minds based on solid, trustworthy information.

People and Defence is an umbrella organisation for several national organisations. As of January 2017, we have a total of 63 member organisations. Our member organizations provide an important connection between a broad spectre of the Norwegian public and People and Defence, and they receive invitations to seminars, lectures, study tours in Norway and abroad, as well as publications on a regular basis.

People and Defence provide a wide range of activities which are open for the Norwegian public free of charge.

Seminars:

In 2016, People and Defence conducted 33 day seminars across the country with more than 2000 participants, mainly students, representatives from the armed forces and our member organisations. The purpose of these seminars is to provide the participants with information about Norwegian security policy, as well as relevant security and defence policy related subjects. For example, the lectures given in 2016 concerned the Norwegian armed forces, national security, civil protection, security policy in the age of globalisation, cooperation on security matters in the NATO, the UN and the EU, cyber security as well as terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. 

Lectures:

Finding time to attend a day seminar can be tricky; therefore we also provide lectures on one or two topics for those interested. In 2016 we visited 74 schools, organisations and associations across the country, reaching almost 4000 individuals. The subject for the lecture is often decided by the recipient, but must relate to security and/or defence policy. Examples of such lectures given in 2016 were security policy in the age of globalisation, cooperation on security matters in the NATO, the UN and the EU, cyber security, the situation in the Middle East, ISIS, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and the Crimean crisis, conflicts in Africa, the refugee crisis, as well as terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. 

Lectures and economic support for school trips:

Youth is a very important target group for People and Defence. In Norway it is a common practice for students at the end of secondary school to visit the concentration camps in Poland and/or Germany as part of a mandatory in depth focus on the Second World War. People and Defence can provide economic support to these trips, as well as lectures on the Second World War, the Holocaust and the Cold War. In 2016 People and Defence visited 72 secondary schools, reaching over 4000 pupils.

The role-playing game "Peace and Conflict":

People and Defence has developed a role play called "Peace and Conflict" intended to illustrate how conflicts arise and how they may be resolved. The game is based on real life challenges and also gives the students some insight into international negotiations and the role of international organisations etc. The group is divided into eight groups where each group will govern their own country in our fictional "central region". The countries have different political systems, some are democracies and some are dictatorships, they have different resources and different challenges. Each group must try to govern their country the best way they can according to their resources and limitations. The instructors can, at any time, "create" new challenges for the countries to handle. In 2016, 43 such role play games were conducted across the country, with almost 1500 participants.

Study tours:

Each year People and Defence arrange several study tours abroad and the application process is open to everyone. Usually the participants are representatives from our member organisations, public servants, teachers and representatives from the armed forces. Each year we arrange tours to Brussels, US, Vienna, and Svalbard. In Brussel we visit the NATO HQ and SHAPE, as well as the Mission of Norway to the EU. The annual trip to the US, includes visits to Norfolk, Washington D.C. and New York. In Vienna we visit the OSCE and IAEA, and in Svalbard the trip includes a few days with the Norwegian coast guard on their patrol in the High North. People and Defence have also arranged tours to Russia, China, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Kazakhstan - just to mention a few. 

Publications:

Our magazine is of 2017 published three times a year in 8.500 copies and has about 6500 subscribers. The themes range from current defence and security issues to foreign affairs. We also publish more in-depth pamphlets on a specific region, conflict, country or topic.

Newsletter:

As of January 2017 People and Defence has its own monthly email newsletter which provides both in-depth articles on current conflicts, as well as brief summaries from the previous month´s main security and defence related issues.

Opinion Polls:

For more than 50 years, People and Defence has conducted opinion polls regarding people’s changing attitudes towards the national defence and NATO. As some of the questions always are the same, these polls have provided a lot of valuable material on these issues, which is recognised and used by researchers, lecturers and the media.

For any questions about People and Defence and our activities, please do not hesitate to contact us at post@folkogforsvar.no.

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