Seventh Sámediggi (Sami Parliament) officially opened
I hereby convene the Sámediggi to its venerable task and commit its representatives to work to the benefit of the Sami people and our nation, said His Majesty The King as he presided over the opening of the 7th Sámediggi today.
His Majesty The King and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince were escorted by the plenary chair into the plenary hall, where the Royal Anthem was played at the beginning of the official opening ceremony.
After a musical performance by Marja Helena Fjellheim Mortensson, the Sámediggi Plenary Chair Jarle Jonassen gave his welcome speech. King Harald then performed the official opening.
The Sámediggi plays an important role in shaping our shared community. The efforts of the Sámediggi have helped to safeguard and enhance the position of Sami culture, language and society, said King Harald, who also praised the Sami artists and cultural performers for the valuable part they play in strengthening the Sami identity.
The Kings speech was followed by welcome speeches on behalf of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament), the Sami Parliament of Sweden and the Sami Parliament of Finland. The opening ceremony concluded with Sámi soga lávlla, the Sami national anthem.
The Sámediggi (The Sami Parliament)
The Sámediggi is an elected assembly that represents the Sami people in Norway. Thirty-nine members of parliament are elected from seven constituencies every fourth year. The first Sámediggi was opened on 9 October 1989 by King Olav V. The opening ceremony is held every fourth year; todays marks the seventh consecutive opening.
The purpose of the Sámediggi is to strengthen the political position of the Sami people and promote Sami interests in Norway, contributing to equal and equitable treatment of the Sami people and paving the way for Sami efforts to safeguard and develop their language, culture and society.
The Sámediggi Building in Karasjok was officially opened by King Harald on 2 November 2000. The building houses the plenary meetings of the democratically elected Sami assembly as well as the administration for the Sámediggi in Norway.
Finals at the Opera House
The Queen Sonja International Music Competition has reached the final stage. Her Majesty The Queen will be in attendance when the six finalists compete onstage at the Oslo Opera House this evening.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.