National statement at the Financing for Development Forum, 18 April 2023.

The statement was delivered by State Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bjørg Sandkjær.

Dear all,

The last years have hit us with overlapping and cascading crises that have been felt all over the world. But the socioeconomic consequences have particularly hurt developing countries. 

The debt burdens of many developing countries are at alarming levels, and fiscal space is shrinking. That means less money for education, health and other important public services at a time when these investments are needed the most.

Financing for development is under pressure. Inequality is increasing both within and between countries. The attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 seems to be slipping from our reach.

But there is still time to turn the tide. We have to do more with the resources at our disposal. As well as mobilizing far larger sums than we have up until now.

Domestic revenue mobilization is at the heart of SDG funding. Official development aid must underpin national efforts. Norway remains among the top contributors of development aid measured in the share of GNI.

However, we will not reach our goals unless we dramatically increase global tax revenues. Which also means stopping illicit financial flows and tax evasion that siphon money away from sustainable development, and into tax havens. Tax revenues are the cornerstone of every country’s long-term social progress. Progressive taxation and universal access to social services is perhaps our most important tool to reduce inequality.

Norway welcomes the recent decisions to enhance coordination in global tax matters here at the UN, and look forward to engage actively in these discussions.

As we look ahead to 2025 and a new global financing for development conference, we need to grasp the opportunity to renew and accelerate our commitment and actions. The success of the next conference will require proper preparations and a bold political vision. The only way to do that is by working together and strengthening the multilateral framework.

Thank you.