Mari on the chair

GA: International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

Statement by Ambassador Mari Skåre at the commemorative meeting on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, 24 April 2019.

| General Assembly


Allow me to express our deep condolences to the people of Sri Lanka and all those affected by the horrific terrorist attacks 21 April. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies go to the victims, their families and friends. We strongly condemn these senseless attacks on worshippers and visitors to you beautiful country. The attacks are a powerful reminder of the importance of international efforts to eliminate all forms of violent extremism.

In 1945, when we established the United Nations, we pledged to save future generations from the scourge of war.

To work together to promote economic and social advancement.
To uphold respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

Our job is not done.

There are a number of challenges to multilateral cooperation today.

No state can singlehandedly tackle the challenges of climate change, conflict and instability, poverty and humanitarian crises, sound management of the oceans and free trade alone  - just to mention a few.

Further, the benefits of globalisation are unevenly distributed. There are significant inequalities within and between countries. It is not just – it is not in accordance with our common values - and inequalities fuel discontent and unrest.

To address this challenges, we must work together. At all levels, from local to global. Within nations, and among states.

We will not be successful reaching our common objectives if we pursue the avenues of unilateralism and polarization. We must learn from the past – also from the successes, because trough working together within our United Nations we have achieved a lot: prevented wars and built societies.

One country that had benefited greatly from the United Nation and multilateral cooperation is: Norway.

We are small nation and and we need a global international order where the rules are clear and followed by the world’s nations. We were among the founding members of the UN and the UN has always been a cornerstone in our foreign policies. We love the UN and leadership of the UN has a tremendous impact for the public opinion and debate in Norway.

The Norwegian government is currently assessing how we best can contribute to strengthening multilateralism.

In a new white-paper we are analyzing the defence of international law, peace and security, global free trade, respect for human rights, sustainable development, and transnational challenges such as climate change, migration, and pandemics.

Norway’s membership, policy and contribution to the United Nations has broad political and popular support in Norway. Though our taxation system, Norway is able to be among the top contributors per capita in the world to the UN, its funds, programs, agencies and organisation.

And we engage politically in important areas such as:

Oceans policies: Clean and healthy oceans that are sustainably harvested are a prerequisite for reaching the SDGs and for food secruity.

Global health, education and humanitarian assistance are other policy areas where we engage and invest heavily.

We defend and promote our common values and the human rights. We promote equality within and between countries.

For many years, Norway has also engaged in conflict resolution.

All of these efforts, in partnerships with others, are contributing to a rules-based and predictable multilateral order. It is our common interest to secure such order.

The world needs efficient, transparent and legitimate international organization that has the trust of the people. We need a strong UN! We need a UN fit for purpose! For this reason, Norway strongly supports UN reform.

Finally, we must forge new partnerships. Genuine and long-term partnerships. In the interest of multilateral cooperation.

To name but one example, Norway is launching a cross-regional initiative to defend multilateral cooperation. We are reaching out to Nordic and African member states, to join forces based on shared interest in the field of multilateralism. Because we believe in the value of working together.

President, Norway is a predictable and consistent partner in our joint efforts for a better future for all and we hereby renew our commitment to the UN Charter.

Thank you.