I join others in warmly welcoming High Representative Borrell here today. And thank you for your brief.
In many ways, Norwegian foreign policy starts in Europe.
The EU and its member states are our close neighbours and friends with shared values and interests. That’s why cooperation with the EU is at the heart of our foreign policy. And is reflected in our frequent alignment with EU positions and measures- including on key issues on the agenda of the Security Council.
The EU is certainly shouldering its responsibility- as a steadfast promoter of multilateralism and as an implementor of Council-mandated tasks
We recognize the important role EU has played in transforming Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace. EU contributes to advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In Africa, the EU plays a key role in: peacebuilding, conflict prevention, security assistance, and development. And with Norway’s longstanding engagement in the same, we welcome your remarks High Representative on this matter.
We also look forward to seeing the strategic partnership between EU and AU develop further.
The Brahimi report, and Security Council resolution 1327 on peace operations called for a clear division of labour between the UN and regional organisations. They also encouraged efforts to promote synergies. And we welcome the EU’s efforts in this regard.
In Libya, the EU contributes to enforcing Security Council resolution 1973 through operation IRINI, and EU NAVFOR Atalanta continues to contribute to enforcing the weapons embargo on Somalia in accordance with resolution 2182, as well as to protect vessels of the World Food Programme.
The EU has also provided significant financial and technical support for African-led security initiatives. And shouldered much of the financial support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, where new structures are needed to facilitate stable and more diverse financing.
Norway and the EU share a common vision of a free and democratic Europe. We share the EUs deep concern of the shrinking democratic space and deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus. The forced landing of the passenger plane in May was a blatant violation of international norms and a threat to European security. Norway fully supports the strong and appropriate reactions from the EU.
European security and international law are also undermined by the conflict in Ukraine Norway welcomes the engagement of the EU in addressing this conflict, and its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Alongside our international partners, we will not accept Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.
It is of great importance that the EU and the UN continue to join forces to respond to global challenges. COVID-19 is a case in point.
Throughout the pandemic the EU has demonstrated solidarity with the rest of the world, and its readiness to coordinate actions under the leadership of the UN. We welcome the EU’s leadership in COVAX and ACT-A. Including its distribution and export of vaccines globally, and efforts to increase global vaccine production capacities.
We would also like to pay tribute to the EUs leading role in the fight against climate change. Norway co-operates closely with EU member states in the UN and elsewhere to highlight, and address the security risks that arise from climate change.
Finally, we welcome the EU’s action plan on WPS and strong focus on: gender equality, human rights, and peace and security within and beyond its borders.
You can rest assured that Norway will continue to advocate these priorities in cooperation with the EU, both inside, and outside the Security Council.