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CSD: Rethinking and strengthening social development

Statement on Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world, by Georg Antonsen from the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion at the 54th session of the commision, 4 February 2016.

| Commission for Social Development

Chair,

The Norwegian Government's policy is based on human rights, both at home and abroad. Human rights apply to everyone, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

Norway support all initiatives by the UN, other organizations and authorities that promote non-discrimination and increase respect for human dignity.

It was a historic moment when the world adopted the 2030 Agenda containing the ambitious sustainable development goals. This is a global commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to achieve gender equality and reduce inequality.

The Government will increase the proportion of development aid provided as co-funding with the recipient country. Active efforts by national governments, political ownership of national development and cooperation with the private sector forms the foundation for Norwegian aid.

Furthermore, today's refugee situation is putting huge pressure on the international humanitarian system, on the UN, on donors, and not least on the countries receiving massive flows of refugees. The Government is at the moment increasing funding for humanitarian efforts and announced earlier today that Norway will provide over 1 billion US dollars to Syria and its neighbouring countries over the next four years.

Chair,

The UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with disabilities was ratified by Norway in 2013. Last summer we presented to the CRPD-committee our initial report. The Government is seeking to strengthen implementation of the Convention, not only in Norway but also abroad. 

Education is one of the most effective means to break the vicious circle of discrimination and poverty. In order to boost global efforts in the field of education, the Government hosted last summer an international summit on quality education for all.

Persons with disabilities often face common challenges. These challenges are in general linked to accessibility, attitudes and other social barriers. This week the Government launched a new Action Plan on accessibility. This is the third plan in this field. The main topics of the new Action Plan is ICT and welfare technologies. The Action Plan also covers all major areas concerning accessibility.

Chair,

Last fall the Government presented to the Parliament a White Paper on equality between women and men. UN Women has set 2030 as the year for achieving gender equality. We support their initiative ‘Planet 50:50 by 2030’.

This spring the Government will submit a White paper to the Parliament on family policies, focussing on the diversity of and respect for all family forms, good parenting, the best of the child, equality in parenthood and reconciliation of work and family life. This year, the Norwegian Government will launch a new LGBTI-action plan. The plan will have several measures. The Government will continue Norway's international LGBTI-related efforts.

Hate speech is causing deep concern all over Europe, including Norway. The Norwegian Government is working on a strategy to combat hate speech. The strategy will focus on different arenas where hate speech is present. The Government, led by the Prime Minister, has also put forward a political declaration against hate speech.

Chair,

Last but not least, the Norwegian Government has sent a proposal for a new and comprehensive Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act on public consultation. The proposal is to replace the four existing equality and anti-discrimination acts with one comprehensive discrimination act, thus giving a less fragmented legal system. An overarching aim is to make it easier for people to see the protection they enjoy against discrimination, as well as the duties they have not to discriminate.

Thank you for your attention.