Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to have the opportunity to present Norway’s national review here today.
Norway wants this to be an inclusive forum that brings together civil society, business and other stakeholders as well as governments.
This forum is the main platform for global follow-up of the SDGs. Let us use it to share good practices and constructive criticism.
We must support the Secretary-General’s efforts to build on the success of the Summit last September, and build broader and better partnerships.
It is a very good start that so many countries have volunteered to present reviews this year. I wanted to be here myself to share our experience.
For Norway, the process of preparing this review has been very useful. It has helped to strengthen our early national follow-up and shape our plans for the years ahead.
This has involved initial steps and actions along several tracks:
First, each ministry analysed all the goals and targets within its area of responsibility.
Norway ranks high in terms of global implementation, and has already achieved a number of goals and targets. However, our review shows that domestic implementation will be demanding for Norway too.
Some of the targets relating to the environmental dimension will be challenging. They include the targets for sustainable consumption and production. We know there is a problem when up to 30 % of global food production is wasted or lost, while at the same time hundreds of millions of people suffer from malnutrition.
Norway also faces challenges in the social and economic dimensions, such as lifestyle diseases, secondary school completion rates, violence against women and children, equality and migration.
We are stepping up efforts to ensure high quality education and equal employment opportunities for everyone. This is especially important for young people and those at risk of marginalisation, including refugees and persons with disabilities.
As a second step, we allocated responsibility for following up each of the 17 goals to a specific ministry.
The coordinating ministries will consult with other ministries involved in following up the different targets.
Each year, the ministries will report on progress to the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, in their budget proposals. This is a vital part of our national follow up, because the annual budgets are key political documents in our system.
The Ministry of Finance will sum up the main points from all the ministries in the national budget white paper. This ensures effective annual reporting to parliament, in a well-established process.
Third, we are encouraging democratic participation to ensure a sense of national ownership. This is necessary for effective and transparent follow-up of the 2030 Agenda.
The Norwegian parliament has been actively involved in the SDG process. Following the SDG summit last September, the parliament debated how Norway should support implementation and ensure democratic participation.
There is broad agreement that the 2030 Agenda should guide our efforts, both nationally and internationally. The global aim is to eradicate extreme poverty while protecting planetary boundaries and promoting prosperity, peace and justice in all parts of the world.
To ensure long-term economic growth and better living conditions for ordinary people, we must promote innovation, good institutions, incentives for work and investments.
This is a universal agenda, and we need all nations and stakeholders to take part.
Norway’s indigenous peoples’ assembly, the Sámediggi, will be involved through dialogue with the line ministries and formal consultation mechanisms, which have been in place for many years.
We will also continue our dialogue with civil society and other stakeholders. They have provided important input that has helped to shape this transformative agenda.
We are working to integrate the new targets relating to governance, justice and well-functioning institutions with the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
This is a process in which vulnerability, stability, and sustainability are key concepts.
We think it is very appropriate that “ensuring that no one is left behind” is the theme of this year’s forum. It reflects the first objective of the 2030 Agenda, to eradicate extreme poverty. It also reflects the need to provide equal opportunities for all. The theme of the forum also highlights the importance of gender equality and equal rights for women and men.
We must incorporate peace and stability, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law as fundamental elements in effective economic and sustainable development.
Norway regards its international engagement in peacebuilding, development aid and sustainable development as closely interconnected efforts.
Whether we are supporting the Colombian peace process, cooperating with African nations on health and education or providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, we are investing in our common future and showing international solidarity.
I am pleased to report that our level of development assistance – currently at around 1 per cent of gross national income – continues to enjoy broad political and popular support in Norway.
Sustainable natural resource management and climate change are priority areas for Norway, both at home and abroad.
Norway has already ratified the Paris Agreement, which will be the main basis for our climate action. Norway is committed to reducing emissions by at least 40 % by 2030 compared with the 1990 level. We are engaged in a dialogue on joint fulfilment of our 2030 commitment with the European Union.
We have been investing in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the Amazonian region, Africa, and Asia.
Recently, Norway adopted an action plan for biodiversity as a tool for achieving the Aichi targets.
It is particularly urgent to address the need for responsible use and protection of our oceans and the marine environment. This is important for our national welfare, and for the global common good.
Norway will continue to share its experience and assist in global efforts to manage and protect natural resources, including fish, forests and renewable energy.
Finally, Norway will focus on building broader and better partnerships around the SDGs. We have seen that innovative private-public partnerships in the health sector have given excellent results. Norway will continue to invest in initiatives for vaccines and disease control.
We are supporting stronger partnerships in other priority areas such as education, oceans, climate change and forests, as outlined in our review.
National governments have the main responsibility for implementing the SDGs, through political action at home and abroad. At the same time, the least developed and most vulnerable nations and populations need external assistance in their efforts.
All countries must cooperate to protect global common goods and put in place policy frameworks that promote partnerships and private-sector investments.
We need the full involvement of business and civil society if we are to succeed. I can assure all stakeholders that Norway will continue to do its share.
Now I would like to invite the youth representative in my delegation to speak on behalf of Norwegian civil society and business delegates.