Statement on last year's presidential election in the USA

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent CouncilVienna, 11 February 2021.

Madame Chair,


I thank the US Delegation for this statement on last year’s presidential election in the USA.

ODIHR’s preliminary findings and conclusions from November 2020 told of a competitive and well managed election, in spite of a highly polarised political environment and logistical challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aftermath of the elections, with an incumbent refusing to accept the outcome, was followed closely all over the world. The attempt by a violent group to derail the democratic process by attacking the US Congress on January 6th, was a stark reminder of the need to stand up for democratic principles. Even in countries with centuries’ old democratic traditions, democracy is not a given. Political polarisation, disinformation, and lack of trust in the system can occur everywhere.

Norway is pleased to note that American institutions stood up to the test, and that the will of the popular vote yet again led to a peaceful transition of government. This is the backbone of democracy. We remain convinced that the structures set up in the American constitution and the division of powers and checks and balances in the United States will continue to secure an American government based on the will of the people.


Thank you