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Commission on Population and Development

Statement on behalf of Norway by Ambassador Tore Hattrem in Commission on Population and Development on Agenda Item 3, 9 April 2018.

Mr. Chair, Twenty-four years have passed since the adoption of the Cairo action plan.

While reviewing the background papers on the progress made since then, certain facts caught my attention. Namely:

  • While use of contraception among women has increased at the global level, 50 % of the demand for modern contraceptives is still not met in 45 countries.
  • Globally, complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls and women aged 15-19.
  • Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health care is a major cause of death, disease and disability among displaced and migrant women and girls of reproductive age.
  • The most rapid population growth is expected in the countries with the greatest need. These are also the countries with the greatest unmet needs for contraception. Population growth is an imortant cause of migration.

Mr. Chair, Poverty has the face of a woman.

Six out of every ten of the 815 million hungry people around the world are women and girls.

We know what it takes to change this. The 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals provide an action plan that all countries must act on.

Empowerment of women and girls is key. The right of all girls and women to make decisions about their own sexuality and body is crucial. Comprehensive sexuality education is essential.

We can never accept the use of religion or so-called traditional values as an excuse to deprive women of their rights.

Together, we must put an end to early and forced marriage. Child marriage has fatal consequences for the young mothers and their babies – and impacts the well-being of entire countries.

In Norway, we know the value of investing in girls and women.

We also know that promotion and protection of human rights is not a product of – but a significant contributor to development.

Mr. Chair, At this year’s CPD we will be discussing an important feature of the 21st century, namely mobility. The movement of people – whether from a rural area to urban areas, between urban settlements, or from one country to another –, affect the population distribution and structure within and across national boundaries.

The issue of migration is an important topic for all of us. Nearly all countries are a point of departure, a place of transit, or a final destination for migrants.

Migration can be empowering for men and women, providing them with new opportunities, but migration can also entail huge risks and lead to great suffering.

The risks are often higher for women, young people and children, as they are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violence and abuse. For migrant women, becoming pregnant may be a crisis. We must do more to protect vulnerable migrants, especially women and children, from sexual abuse, and give them access to necessary sexual and reproductive health services.

Mr. Chair, Let me conclude by saying that the diversity and complexity of the issue of mobility and migration means that we face dilemmas in this year’s CPD negotiations.

Since we are negotiating the Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees in parallel, we must avoid duplicating our efforts. Rather, we should make full use of all that we have already agreed on, including the need to develop international standards on data. 

I would like to underline that, for Norway, it is important to protect the human rights of all people, including all migrants and refugees.

As we have explained in the Global Compact negotiations, we need to distinguish between the level of services provided to regular and irregular migrants, except for children who should receive all services regardless of their status.

Norway remains committed to advance the ICPD agenda.

Thank you.