Condolences for Kåre Willoch, IDU Chairman (1987 – 1989)
It is with great sadness that the International Democrat Union (IDU) received the news of Prime Minister Kåre Willoch’s passing, who served as IDU Chairman from 1987 to 1989.
Kåre Willoch was one of the most outstanding politicians of his time. He served as Norway’s Prime Minister from 1981 to 1986, as the party leader and parliamentary leader of Høyre, and as Minister of Trade.
To the IDU, Kåre Willoch is one of the most formative personalities of its founding period. As Prime Minister of Norway, he attended the founding meeting of the IDU in London in 1983. There, he emphasized that it is a never-ending fight and of “basic importance…to preserve and develop the democratic ideas upon which all societies are founded.” In 1987, Kåre Willoch was elected as the second Chairman of the IDU. During his term, he collaborated with the leaders of the Western world to overturn Soviet communism, and contributed both intellectually and actively to ending the Cold War.
It was his deep-rooted convictions for democracy and freedom that Kåre Willoch incorporated into his work in the IDU as its Chairman. He gave the IDU the direction that enabled it to develop into the organization that provides an international home for centre-right, Conservative and Christian-democratic parties.
His commitment to society, as well to the international community was broad and deep, and lasted a lifetime. The IDU owes much to Kåre Willoch. He is a true champion of Freedom and Democracy, and his passing is a great loss for the IDU. Our thoughts and condolences go first and foremost to his wife Anne-Marie, to his children, to his grandchildren, and to the rest of his family.