Norway is pleased to present the candidature of Mr Gunnar Bergby, Secretary General of our Supreme Court, for election to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Mr Bergby’s candidature enjoys the support of all the other Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.
Norway ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981 and its optional Protocol in 2002. In the event of conflict, the provisions of the convention prevail over Norwegian law, and this has been the case since 2009.
Norway looks upon the Convention and its oversight body as crucial instruments for achieving gender equality in all parts of the world, including our own country. Even though Norway regularly appears at the top of international rankings concerning gender equality, there are still gaps to be closed before we can say that Norway has attained full equality between men and women.
In our view, Gunnar Bergby’s background and experience make him a very strong candidate for the CEDAW Committee. His long experience as a judge in various tribunals is particularly relevant given the Committee’s role in considering individual complaints and inquiries.
Gunnar Bergby also acquired specific expertise on women’s rights issues during the ten years of his career that were exclusively dedicated to realising gender equality. During this period he was deputy head of the Norwegian Gender Equality Ombud (the first body of its kind in the world), which he helped to establish as an important element of Norway’s institutional framework for eradicating discrimination against women. In that capacity, he was involved in drafting legislation and promoting concrete measures to push forward a transition from de jure to de facto equality between men and women.
Mr Bergby has strong interpersonal and teamwork skills. He is independent of the government and would serve on the CEDAW Committee in his personal capacity.
Norway commends Gunnar Bergby to all States parties to the CEDAW Convention. We are confident that he would be a very valuable member of the Committee.