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Thank you to WFUNA , for organizing this event and for the work you do every day in supporting and strengthening the UN.
We are very pleased this event could still go ahead in a virtual format. These hearings are important in ensuring a knowledge-based and transparent process for Member States, civil society and the general public alike.
I very much look forward to discussing Norway’s candidature with you here today.
We have limited time, so let me proceed straight to four main points on what Norway will bring to the Security Council:
Firstly, Norway is a consistent partner who walks the talk
The UN is the cornerstone of Norway’s foreign policy.
We have been, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of a rules-based multilateral order in which the UN plays a central role.
Norway’s UN policy is predictable and recognisable, even when governments change.
We are committed to continuing to defend, reform, and strengthen the UN system and the institutions we have all benefited from.
Norway is the seventh largest net contributor to the UN, and one of very few countries that spend 1% of GNI on official development assistance.
Norway has regularly deployed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping efforts. With more than 42 000 Norwegians having served in UN-led operations since 1947.
Second, Norway is a small country that speaks with an independent voice
Norway is not part of any of the major blocs of Member States at the UN.
We have a long tradition of speaking with an independent voice and considering each issue on its merits.
We will continue to be a respectful dialogue-oriented partner that listens to other countries and consults them, regardless of their size or geographical location.
On the Council, I will ensure that we continue to speak with countries, not about them.
Norway will, if elected, bring to the Security Council a small-country perspective.
In times like these, when multilateralism is under pressure- and yet the need for global solidarity has never been higher as we face COVID-19- it is increasingly important that all countries, big and small, stand up for the UN and international cooperation.
Third, Norway has unique experience in peace mediation
We will bring to the table decades of experience from leading and facilitating reconciliation and peace processes all over the world.
At the request of the parties, we have been engaged in efforts to resolve conflicts in Colombia, Venezuela, the Philippines, Afghanistan, on the African continent, and in the Middle East.
Norway has shown a long-standing commitment to peace and security in the Middle East. For almost three decades, (from the Oslo Accords- which I am proud to have played a personal role in), we have been engaged in efforts to achieve a just, lasting, and peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine.
We remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution, including the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
Norway is always impartial, but never value-neutral. We promote dialogue, listen to all parties, and exercise pragmatic diplomacy.
If elected, we will take this approach with us into the Security Council. And we will put conflict resolution and peacebuilding high on the Council’s agenda.
And fourth, Norway will push for increased transparency and accountability in the work of the Council
We will work to enhance the Security Council’s ability to take coherent and timely action, drawing on all three pillars of the United Nations: peace, development, and human rights – including of course women’s rights.
We are committed to ensuring that the linkages between security, sustainable development and climate change are also on the Council’s agenda.
We will push for greater transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the working methods of the Council.
And we maintain our support for a more representative Security Council that reflects current global realities. This must include an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats, especially for Africa to correct the historical injustice done to the African continent.
Norway announced its candidature back in 2007. It is 20 years since Norway last had a seat on the Security Council.
We are ready to serve again.
Especially in this time of global crisis, Norway remains committed to continue working with partners from all regions, with respect and openness. We are willing to listen to the views of all sides, and to seek common solutions.
Norway will continue to be a consistent partner, working for our common future.
This is the foundation of Norway’s candidature for a seat on the Security Council.
I will leave it here, and I look very much forward to listening to your comments and questions.