Statement at Executive Board of the UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS delivered by Ms Ingrid Dana, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, 23 January 2019.

| Executive Board

Mr. President,

Norway is a strong supporter of the ICPD programme of action, and UNFPAs mandated role.

The programme of action was a groundbreaking document in 1994, and still is today.

As we approach the 25th anniversary of ICPD, and the 50th anniversary of UNFPA, we have many things to celebrate. A lot of progress has been made. This means that what we are doing is making a difference.The Sustainable Development Goals is the benchmark for the next decade. Implementing ICPD will greatly contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030.

But as Micelle Bachelet put it in her opening statement at the human rights council last September “The Sustainable Development Goals will not progress without discussion of, and progress on, the so-called "sensitive" issues of human rights”

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are as important to women and girls, boys and men in Norway as anywhere else in the world, yet we know that many lack knowledge and access.

While we agree that we must respect culture, tradition and religion – we do not agree that it should be used to deny people empowerment, well-being, health and rights.

For Norway, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is not a moral issue; it is about fulfilling the rights of women and girls. We know from our own experience the benefits it brings.

To advance progress and enable more people, Norway remains committed to the UNPFA, the ICPD and the outcome documents of its review conference  and the SDGs. To do so we have increased our core contribution to UNFPA from 500 to 530 million kronor in 2019, and are pleased to announce that it is multi year, meaning we commit to provide a similar amount, or more, for this planning period up to 2021.    

Let's all work together for our girls and our boys.