The situation in Ukraine is foremost in all our minds. Norway condemns Russia’s military attack in the strongest possible terms. The invasion is a violation of international law, including the UN Charter. We are committed to providing support for the people of Ukraine, especially women and girls.
Safeguarding the human rights of its citizens is one of the most important responsibilities of any nation. A country without gender equality cannot fully claim to have a free people.
History has shown us that in times of crisis it is often women who pay the greatest price.
This is precisely the situation now in terms of the climate crisis.
I would like to focus on four topics:
- the need to push back the pu shback
- workers’ rights
- freedom from violence
- and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The rising number of people showing a deep distrust for established society is disturbing. People who do not believe in climate change, who do not believe in COVID and who are against vaccines. People who distrust the Muslim, Jewish and LGBTIQ+ communities, not to mention women.
In many countries, these opinions are gaining ground both among the general public and among policymakers. Many of them promote an anti-democratic and anti-feminist agenda, combined with opposition to LGBTIQ rights and climate change denial. And they are using fake news, also on social media platforms, to spread their views.
Let us join forces to push back the pushback against the rights of women and sexual minorities.
There is an urgent need to make the transition from a fossil fuel-dependent society to a sustainable one. But this transition must be just. We cannot build a sustainable future through mass unemployment and constraints on workers’ rights.
The Nordic model, based on social dialogue, between trade unions, employers organizations and the government offers a good framework for a successful green transition.
We need to draw on the talent pool of the entire labour force. Without reinforcing a gender-segregated labour market.
And we must ensure that women are represented in decision-making processes at all levels.
Excluding 50 % of the world’s population means the decisions will simply not be good enough.
In 2020, over 30 million people were displaced due to climate-related disasters.
Climate displacement leads to greater risk of gender-based violence and child marriage. It also has a negative impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.
Women environmental human rights defenders face a risk of femicide, and are increasingly being met with threats and violence.
We must work to protect their safety. And to protect the rights of all girls and women to live a life free from violence and to make decisions about their own bodies and sexuality.
My fellow delegates.
Gender equality and women’s rights must be an integral part of all our climate and development efforts.
Norway stands ready to do its part.
Thank you, Chair.