Still, we cannot but interpret some statements as downright lies when their sender is obviously aware that what he/she is saying does not include the whole truth. State Secretary Janne Haaland Matlary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently said, in connection with a conference on ethics in foreign policy, that one should be more willing to implement global guidelines, like the human rights, before any country was to receive national loans and investments.From her place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she cannot have escaped seeing all those Norwegian companies and investments flowing into regimes that Norway would not very much like to be compared to. Even governmental companies have invested in countries like Indonesia and Nigeria, long before any democratisation of those countries was considered. The stable regime of Suharto on Indonesia attracted a number of western investors just because the brutal regime could create economic stability. Just like South Africa, the country was more economically interesting before the apartheid regime fell. But, perhaps this is all forgotten by those at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Norwatch Newsletter 10/99