Melfald humanitært innlegg

GA: Humanitarian Debate

Statement by Councellor Hanne Melfald in the humanitarian debate, 16 December 2019.

| General Assembly

Mr. President,

The humanitarian landscape is constantly changing. Armed conflict, climate change and persistent poverty are creating complex crises that last longer and affect a growing number of people.

Norway is stepping up its efforts to meet the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time.

Let me emphasize three points of particular importance.

Firstly, Norway is giving priority to responding to the protection crisis that is worsening the humanitarian situation in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and many other conflict-affected countries.

Secondly, Norway is taking part in the work to break the downward spiral that is turning protracted complex crisis into the new norm in several regions. Special effort is needed to prevent people in these situations from being left behind as we seek to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Education is key.

Thirdly, we must strengthen our efforts to address and reduce forced displacement.


Mr. President,

The scale of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in crisis and conflict is unacceptable. In many conflicts, sexual violence is a method of warfare, and it is a widespread problem in humanitarian crises.

Together with Iraq, Somalia and United Arab Emirates, alongside ICRC, OCHA and UNFPA, Norway hosted the international conference “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crisis” in May this year.

States committed to provide a total of more than 363 million US dollars to SGBV prevention and response in 2019 and beyond. Norway, for one, will deliver on our 115 million USD pledge over a three-year period.

Women and girls must be acknowledged as powerful agents of change and included in all phases of crisis response. 

We therefore regret that agreed language on sexual and reproductive health care, in several resolutions, are being challenged.

What is being challenged by the proposed amendment, is the safety and well-being of women and girls, as well as men and boys. Universal access to education and health, including sexual and reproductive health education and care, is lifesaving. That is an indisputable fact.


The Mine Ban Convention is one of the most successful disarmament treaties of recent times.

At the meeting of the state parties to the Mine Ban Convention, the Oslo Action Plan was adopted and will be a reference point for implementation of all aspects of the Mine Ban Convention for the next five years.

A mine-free world by 2025 remains our vision, and we believe that the Oslo Action Plan will provide a strong motivation for making progress towards that goal.

Sudan has now taken over the presidency for the Mine Ban Convention. Norway assures Sudan of our full support in this role.

The number of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to armed conflict has increased dramatically in recent years.

Norway welcomes the launch of the high-level panel on Internal Displacement launched by the UN Secretary-General  on 3rd December.

There is an urgent need to increase global attention and galvanize action on IDPs, and we believe that linking the issue of IDPs more closely to the sustainable development agenda, and specifically to the ambition to leave no one behind, offers an important way forward.


Mr. President,

In order to reach the sustainable development goals on education we need to focus on those left furthest behind. Norway is pleased to see that education has a prominent place in the Global Compact on Refugees. We are also pleased to see that more and more countries are including refugees in their national education systems.

Norway promotes enhanced protection of education through the Safe Schools Declaration that has been endorsed by 101 countries (Dec 2019). We encourage all countries to endorse and implement the declaration in order to address the urgent issue of armed attacks on schools. 

Finally, the humanitarian system faces enormous challenges in the years ahead, in the context of worsening, protracted crises and constrained funds. We are determined to work together to meet these challenges.

Thank you.