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UNFPA: Launch of UNFPA Humanitarian Action Overview for 2020

Statement by Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim on the launch of the UNFPA Humanitarian Action Overview for 2020, 6 February 2020.

Dear colleagues,

Norway is proud to be partnering with UNFPA on this important event, thank you Executive Director Kanem for your excellent opening remarks.

It is clear that sexual and reproductive health and rights is a basic need especially for women and girls.

It is essential, and often lifesaving.

Still, the day is yet to come when we can celebrate universal acknowledgement of women’s rights to life, health, and security.

Sexual and gender based violence happens every single day. Without exception.

Norway is committed to turning the tide on this reality.

In May, last year, we hosted the conference “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” in Oslo. We were proud to do so with a cross regionals group of partners from Iraq, Somalia and the United Arab Emirates, alongside UNFPA, UNOCHA, and the ICRC.

Together we brought a large group of key actors, to the agreement that it must be a humanitarian priority to strengthen prevention efforts and responses to SGBV. And that this includes improved access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Some 50 States, UN agencies, NGOs and others submitted written political, policy and best practice commitments. Many also  outlining specific measures they are taking, and their political will not only to curb, but to end SGBV.

States committed to provide a total of more than 363 million US dollars to SGBV prevention and response.

But, our work does not stop after making our pledges and commitments.  Therefore, we will be monitoring the pledges that States and organizations in made in Oslo.

The plan is to present a progress report by the upcoming UNGA.

Dear colleagues,

Looking ahead, Norway sees four key points for action.  We must continue to:

1) improve financing for SGBV prevention and response,

2) prioritize SGBV programming, protection, prevention and risk mitigation across all sectors. To ensure it is included in every humanitarian response right from the beginning of crisis and conflict,

3) put survivors at the centre of our response,

4) acknowledge women and girls as powerful agents of change in their own lives and communities. To achieve this Local women’s organizations must be included in decision-making,

Colleagues,

For survivors of sexual and gender based violence, access to sexual and reproductive health services is often a matter of life or death.

UNFPA’s work is crucial to the rights and dignity of women and girls, and all young people’s health.

UNFPA is a very important partner to Norway in our humanitarian work.

We are also proud to be UNFPA’s biggest core donor.

We will always stand up for the rights of girls and women. And will stand up for UNFPA.