Ambassador Bakhtiyor Ibragimov, Excellencies and friends,
It has been five months since the great launch of the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region. When the Secretary General addressed that event, he rightly underscored the severity of the situation in the Aral Sea region.
Environmental disasters can hit hard. They take lives. They cause long lasting after-effects for many people. And they put tremendous strain on systems of governance, triggering competition over increasingly scarce resources and may fuel societal tensions.
These are all important reasons why the comprehensive vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a priority for Norway.
We have so much work left to realize the promises of the 2030 Agenda.
Work that will require significant structural, strategic and operational changes.
To this end, Norway has championed efforts for a more anticipatory, integrated and country-driven response by the UN system, one that encourages cross-sectoral initiatives for greater coherence on the ground. In short - we support the Secretary General’s reform.
And we work on implementing the SDG.
In a world with many disasters, the principles of human security contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
As defined by the UN General Assembly, the human security approach is an anticipatory framework for a people-centered development that is comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented, and that aims to strengthen the protection and empowerment of individuals and communities in face of current and emerging risks and vulnerabilities.
Again, in short - it is about giving people a better life.
The Multi-Partner Human Security Fund capitalizes on the successes and the lessons learned from two earlier programmes supported by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. As a result, people living in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan strengthened their capacities to live in greater resilience, with concrete benefits in their daily lives and aspirations.
In this regard, the new Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund holds much promise. By pooling resources, projects can be implemented and help many people. This is very much in line with the vision of the Agenda 2030.
But a Trust Fund can only operate after having received funds.
On that note, let med congratulate the Government of Uzbekistan for having made the first, and very substantial, contribution to the Trust Fund.
Furthermore, it is my pleasure to update you on the promise made by former Foreign Minister of Norway, and human security enthusiast, Mr. Knut Vollebæk, when he spoke at the launch of the Fund in November. He then announced that the Government of Norway would contribute to the Fund in the amount 9,5 million NOK, which is nearly 1,2 million US dollars.
I am happy to inform you that the paperwork is completed and the money is transferred.
I am confident they are put to good use.
Norway welcomes the positive regional development in Central Asia and the Aral Sea region. We hope that the Trust Fund can contribute to the same end.
We recognize that the 2030 Agenda and our aspiration to live in the world we want, depends on partnerships.
We need to forge new partnerships. Genuine and durable partnerships. That is our best recipe for a better world, and better lives for many people.
Norway is and will be a consistent partner for a common future. It is our hope that other countries will join us in supporting this timely and effective initiative. – Please, contribute to the Trust Fund.
I thank you for your attention.