At the outset, my delegation would like to pay tribute to the men and women who serve the United Nations, including those who have given their lives in the cause of peace. Particularly, during this uncertain time my delegation would like to especially commend peacekeepers who are helping local communities, engaging in the global effort to fight COVID-19.
UN peacekeeping operations today is made up of approximately 110,000 military, police and civilian staff in 13 different missions. There is no doubt that these peacekeepers are essential to the maintenance of international peace and security. To succeed, they need our support, not only politically, but also financially. Please be assured that my delegation will participate actively in these negotiations to this end.
My delegation will focus particularly on the peacekeeping operations in countries where Norway has had a long-term engagement. Nevertheless, all missions are equally important to determine the appropriate overall budget.
As a consistent partner of UN peacekeeping, Norway will also continue to promote robust peacekeeping budgets. We share the Secretary-General’s commitment to optimising peacekeeping resources, but the implementation of ambitious and comprehensive mandates also requires adequate resources. This includes appropriate financing of human rights-related tasks.
Other important agenda items related to peacekeeping are the discussions on the support account, and crosscutting issues including sexual exploitation and abuse. Sexual exploitation and abuse continues to undermine the credibility of the UN, and ruins the lives of victims, families and communities. It is therefore important to reach an agreement on a resolution on crosscutting issues. Norway looks forward to engaging with delegations on these agenda items.
Norway is deeply troubled by the financial situation of the organization. In light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, a strong and coordinated UN is needed more than ever. Norway commends those countries that have paid their assessed contributions in full and on time and we call upon all other Member States to pay their outstanding contributions as soon as possible.
With COVID-19, the world is facing enormous challenges. Nevertheless, the First Resumed Session in March showed that the Fifth Committee can make critical decisions in unprecedented times. For the first time in history, virtual consultations and negotiations with the whole Membership were successfully organized. This showed that the UN remains open and continues its vital work delivering for people across the globe. Please be assured of Norway's full support to also bring this session to a successful conclusion for our common future.