Norway assumes key leadership tasks in UN Security Council

As a member of the UN Security Council 2021-2022, Norway will chair the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.

Norway will also be penholder for the situation in Afghanistan and for the humanitarian situation in Syria, and will work actively to increase focus on the linkages between climate change and security.      

‘These are challenging and demanding tasks that Norway is prepared to take on. It is a vote of confidence that Norway will have the responsibility for some of the key chair positions of Security Council’s subsidiary organs. Through our work in these areas, we will both promote Norwegian priorities and contribute to issues of crucial importance to international peace and security,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

In a world dealing with the ongoing pandemic, climate change, increasing poverty, enormous humanitarian needs, high numbers of refugees and displaced people and complicated conflict situations, it is vital that the UN Security Council’s efforts to promote international peace and security are successful.

The DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programme, ISIL (Da'esh) and al-Qaida represent grave threats to global peace and security. Over a number of years, the Security Council has built up a comprehensive sanctions regime to prevent the development of weapons of mass destruction in the DPRK.

‘Sanctions are one of the most powerful and effective measures the Security Council has at its disposal. As chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee, Norway will seek to achieve the effective implementation and follow-up of sanctions, based on respect for international law, the humanitarian principles and human rights. It is important to avoid unintended humanitarian consequences for the civilian population, said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

 ‘Sanctions against ISIL (Da'esh) and al-Qaida are necessary to combat international terrorism. Preventing the financing of terrorism is crucial if these efforts are to succeed. To ensure the legitimacy and effectiveness of the sanctions it is important that due process guarantees are in place to protect individuals who are targeted under the sanctions regime,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

The protection of civilians in armed conflicts, including children, will be one of the Norwegian Government’s main priorities during Norway’s term on the Security Council. Children are especially vulnerable in armed conflicts.

‘I am pleased that Norway has been given the opportunity to chair the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. It is vital to ensure greater accountability in this area,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

Norway will be a co-penholder for the situation in Afghanistan and for the humanitarian situation in Syria.  

‘We have in-depth insight into the conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria, and are therefore well placed to play a constructive role that can lead to common solutions. It is important to strengthen the Security Council’s capacity to carry out peace diplomacy and conflict prevention, and incorporate this into processes of addressing country and conflict situations. Both Afghanistan and Syria have great humanitarian needs that the Security Council must assure are addressed. Some of the country situations on the Security Council’s agenda are complicated and have led to polarisation among members of the Security Council, which means that our ambitions have to be realistic,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

Members of the Security Council has recently established an informal expert group on the linkage between climate change and security risks in the various country situations. Norway will co-chair the group.

‘It is clear that climate change is increasingly leading to greater instability and exacerbating conflicts. Norway will work actively to promote the Security Council’s efforts in this area, for example by using scientific data systematically,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.