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In March I had the honour of heading the Norwegian delegation to our initial dialogue meeting with the CRPD-committee. The dialogue was very fruitful for us. All concerns and recommendations form the Committee are now being considered by the Government.
The Government's platform states that in Norway, everyone should have equal opportunities and freedom to make their own choices. The Government will work for equality and equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Everybody in Norway shall have opportunities for personal development, participation and self-realization on an equal basis. Norway wants be a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background.
This winter the government launched a strategy for the equality of persons with disabilities, to take effect from 2020 to 2030. The Strategy, called "A Society For All", will be followed up by an Action Plan to be launched later this year. We are also working on our 4th action plan for universal design.
The authorities consult thedisabled person’s organisations widely, when drawing up and implementing plans and measures. Regular meetings are held at ministerial and local level. Involvement of those concerned is very important in order to increase the quality of the decision-making and in taking action.
According to reports, there are 800 million persons with various types and degrees of disabilities in developing countries. Many are vulnerable, and their rights to health, education, protection are too often neglected, including in development programs.
We are now making sure that the interests of persons with disabilities are an integral part of all our relevant development programs. The Leave No One Behind agenda is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, and also guides Norway’s efforts for persons with disabilities.
I am pleased to announce that the Government strengthens our development efforts for persons with disabilities. Over the next four years, 400 million Norwegian kroners will be allocated to programs specifically addressing persons with disabilities. This comes on top of what we already provide. We actively use the new OECD DAC disability marker, to better identify and plan our total allocations to relevant projects.
We hope the new scheme will make a difference for many people in a difficult situation around the world.
Thank you for your attention.