CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Let me join others in welcoming the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Madame Marija P. Burić, back to the Permanent Council.
Norway is a strong advocate for multilateral cooperation, and we welcome the Secretary General’s message on the importance of multilateralism. The Council of Europe and the OSCE share common visions in promoting human rights, freedom of the media and safety for journalists, tolerance, non-discrimination and social inclusion. We also have common goals in countering violent extremism and radicalization. Many of the areas of responsibility of both the Council of Europe and of the OSCE are important elements in tackling the challenges that we face today.
This year, the core values of our organisations have been challenged in a fundamental way. The lives of our citizens have been altered and their freedoms limited. Protecting the most vulnerable in our societies is more important than ever.
The Council of Europe and the OSCE tackle these challenges from different vantage points, but our values and objectives overlap when we seek to uphold human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe. The European Court of Human rights is a powerful institution that has great normative influence throughout our region. This serves as a backdrop for the work of OSCE institutions such as ODIHR and the Representative on Freedom of the Media.
OSCE and the Council of Europe must continue to keep each other informed of activities in all areas to ensure maximum results. Norway contributes substantially, both politically and financially, to both organisations, and we will work to promote further cooperation between them.