Degree in economics, University Oslo, 1975.
Member Buskerud County Council, Norway, 1975—1983. Executive secretary Norwegian Labour League Youth, 1977-1981. Project and planning officer Norwegian Labour Party, 1981-1986, acting general secretary, 1986, general secretary, 1987, chair, 1992—2002.
Member of Parliament Storting (Parliament), Norway, 1993—2009, president, 2005—2009. Prime minister Government Norway, 1996-1997, minister foreign affairs, 2000—2001. Secretary general Council Europe, since 2009.
Member Norwegian delegate European Parliament, 1993—1996, 1997—2000, head Norwegian delegate, 2001—2005. Member Norwegian delegate Nordic Council, 1993—1996, 1997—2000. Head Norwegian delegate Council Europe, Strasbourg, 1997.
Chairman standing committee on foreign affairs Storting, 2001—2005, member standing committee on defense and the enlarged foreign affairs committee, 2005—2008. Member Norwegian delegate North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly, 2001—2005.
Member Mitchell Commission, 2000—2001. Chairman finance administration committee Socialist International, 1987—1992, vice president, 1999—2008, chairman Middle-East committee, 2000—2006. Member international board governors Peres Center Peace, since 1997.
Chairman board directors Oslo Center Peace and Human Rights, since 2006.
Married Hanne Grotjord, 1975. 2 children.