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SC: Strengthening multilateralism

Statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway by Ambassador Tore Hattrem in Open Debate on Strengthening Multilateralism and the role of the UN, 9 November 2018.

I deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway.

Mr. President,

The multilateral system is under pressure, as are the norms that underpin it. A rules-based international order is in the interest of all member states. It brings predictability and creates conditions for tackling global problems.

The 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement are results of multilateral cooperation. These agreements are all crucial in addressing global challenges.

Climate change, conflict, instability and human rights violations impede global sustainable development. We must step up our collective efforts to prevent and curb conflicts and wars and build basic social and economic infrastructure for the whole of society, especially for those in the most vulnerable situations. We must understand and make use of the linkages between human rights, sustainable development and peace and security. It is crucial that we apply a gender perspective in all policy areas and that we engage both women and men.

The consequences of instability affect us all, and global security threats require global responses. The Security Council must be able to act, and so must we – as UN Member States.

Terrorism and violent extremism, in all their forms and manifestations, represent a truly global threat. This threat requires a global response. The Nordic countries believe that any measures aimed at countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism must be in compliance with the rule of law and human rights.

Furthermore, the Nordic countries encourage the Council to make full use of its mandate to engage in, support and promote mediation efforts, as it did by providing united and clear support for the Colombia peace process. However, mediation is not a quick fix and cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. Social and economic development remains crucial if we are to address the root causes of conflict.

We recognise that regional organisations are often best placed to take the lead in mediation efforts. We welcome and support the strengthened relationship between the AU and UN and between the AU Peace and Security Council and the Security Council.

The WTO is an essential multilateral tool that strengthens our ability to trade and interact with the world. We need to defend and reform the WTO. Free trade agreements have contributed to economic growth, to a reduction of poverty, and to falling child mortality rates. The Nordic countries are staunch supporters of rules-based and predictable trade arrangements.

We, the UN must also do our part, and we must do it better. The world needs a stronger, coherent, effective and responsive UN, which is why all member states should continue to back the Secretary-General’s reform agenda.

We will be consistent partners for a common future.

Thank you.