President Barack Obama says the leaders of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland should have a bigger role in shaping the future of the world, even though they represent a small fraction of the global population.
“I really do believe that the world would be more secure and more prosperous if we just had more partners like our Nordic countries,” he said. “There have been times that I have said why don’t we just put all these small countries in charge for a while and they could clean things up?”
Obama welcomed leaders of the five Nordic nations to the White House today — Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland — and spoke highly of their leadership abilities.
“They have been extraordinarily important for us in shaping and maintaining an international order that is rule-based that is fair, that is just,” he said.
Obama praised the leaders for focusing on stopping climate change and economic equality as well as their commitment to pluralism and tolerance.
“In fact, in a world of growing economic disparities, Nordic countries have some of the least income inequality in the world which may explain why they are some of the happiest people in the world despite not getting much sun,” he said.
Obama joked that Nordic languages and expressions sounded like the HBO TV show “Game of Thrones” and praised their contributions to American culture.
“Our children’s imaginations come to life with LEGOS, our homes and lives are infused with Scandinavian furniture and design, some of us dance and sing to ABBA,” he said.
Obama also recognized their heavy metal bands and praised their contributions in developing Spotify, Skype, Angry Birds, and Candy Crush.