Statement on the lack of decisions on the holding of the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and the Annual Security Review Conference and on adopting a Unified Budget

Delivered by Minister-Counsellor Henning Hj. Johansen at the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council, Vienna, 30 July 2021.

Madame Chair,

First, let me thank the Swedish chairpersonship for its tireless efforts and constructive consultations with the aim to find consensus on the decisions needed to hold the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and the Annual Security Review Conference in 2021 as well as adopting a Unified Budget for our organisation.

Norway deeply regrets that we, the participating states, despite months of hard work from a great number of diplomats, have still not been able to find consensus on the decisions that would allow to organise the mentioned conferences or to adopt a budget. Norway is, and has for long time been, ready to accept the Chair’s proposals as they stand.

Seeing how the chairpersonship and most participating states have actively sought common ground and been willing to find compromises, we now wonder whether everyone is really negotiating in good faith. In an organisation based on consensus no single participant can expect to have all priorities met. For example, with regards to the HDIM, seeing the decisions in their current drafts, Norway recognises that they have been changed substantially from what we would have preferred. We, and a large majority of other participating states, have been willing to make serious concessions in the spirit of compromise, even though these decisions have been moved quite far away from our priorities. We no longer believe that one of the participating states is interested in holding the HDIM this year but hope that next week will prove us wrong. If not, we are uncertain whether it is of any use to continue the discussions on HDIM. If we are unable to agree on the holding of HDIM, we should start to look for other arenas for holding the participating states to account for the state of human dimension commitments.

Unfortunately, this situation is equally relevant for the outstanding decisions on ASRC and on the Unified Budget, and it reflects the current state of our organisation. The unwillingness to seek compromise can be found on a steadily growing number of issues. For a consensus-based organisation to work, we need everybody to engage in dialogue with the aim to come to agreement.


Thank you