March 2, Norway reply UNHCR

2 March 2017

 "Mr. Chair,

I thank the Assistant High Commissioner for his very useful and most relevant presentation.

I would also like to thank UNHCR for the key role it plays in promoting a comprehensive response to the refugee crisis in carrying out its unique mandate. We are encouraged by the close co-operation between UNHCR, OSCE and other regional organisations. This contributes to durable solutions for displaced people.

The complexity of mixed migration calls for co-operative global and regional approaches, and broad alliances. The High-Level meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants last year was important in this regard. Norway is engaged in the processes related to the global compact for refugees and the compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

These two global compacts should address the need to provide effective protection to refugees as well as states’ legitimate interest in orderly and controlled migration. To achieve this, we must strive to reduce large-scale irregular and uncontrolled mixed migration and prevent trafficking, people smuggling and abuse of refugees and migrants. At the same time, we must facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration and an adequate sharing of burden and responsibility for refugees. Furthermore, states must respect their international obligation to readmit their own nationals who are not in need of international protection.

Humanitarian assistance in countries of origin and along transit routes is essential to meet humanitarian needs. Norway has increased its humanitarian assistance by over 50 % over the past three years.

Predictable and long-term support to host countries is necessary. In 2016 Norway provided more than 300 million Euro in humanitarian and development assistance to Syria and the region. Education is a key priority. More than 15 percent of Norway’s humanitarian assistance for Syria and the region is allocated to education.

Conflict is a major cause of displacement. Discrimination, persecution and lack of respect for human rights are other causes. The efforts of the OSCE in conflict prevention and resolution,

combatting trafficking, and promoting respect for human rights and tolerance and non-discrimination complement the efforts of UNHCR.

We welcome the co-operation between UNHCR and the OSCE in i.a. the South Caucasus and the Western Balkans and encourage further co-operation where this is relevant.

Thank you, Mr Chair"