Your Excellences, dear peacekeeping colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Norway welcomes this opportunity to engage with other Member States on peacekeeping issues.
I would like to commend the hosts of the preparatory meetings in Montevideo, The Hague and Addis Ababa. These arenas give us valuable opportunities to further progress in key areas, with the reform initiatives of the Secretary-General as the basis for our discussions.
Norway is a long-standing and consistent partner and contributor to UN peacekeeping. More than 42.000 Norwegians have served in UN Peace Operations since 1949.
In May this year, Norway will again provide a military transport aircraft for six months to MINUSMA. We do this under the Multinational Rotational Concept that we initiated in 2016.
We are pleased to see that the rotational concept has become an inspiration and a model for UN force generation and deployment. It creates a much needed sustainability and predictability for MINUSMA, is an important force multiplier, and serves as an example of how smaller countries together can contribute with critical assets to the UN.
I am happy to announce that the Norwegian government has decided to maintain the Norwegian camp facilities outside Bamako until the end of 2022, and to provide a new transport aircraft to the operation again in 2021.
Also, we are currently in dialogue with the Department of Peace Operations and planning to deploy a specialized police team to the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) later this year. It will contribute to the strengthening of rule-of-law and security institutions in Mali. The specialized police team concept has proven to be an efficient tool for the implementation of UN police mandates in the field.
Gender balance on all levels for uniformed personnel, in the field as well as in the UN headquarters here in New York, is a key priority for Norway. We strongly support the UN’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy.
Promoting women’s participation is not only about gender equality. There should be no doubt that increasing the number of female peacekeepers is a question of effectively and sustainably preventing and resolving conflicts.
Norway is a candidate to the UN Security Council for the period of 2021-2022. If elected Norway will continue its strong commitment and engagement to further strengthen and improve UN peace operations.
It is our shared responsibility to ensure that peacekeeping partnership works. I am confident that together, we can enhance the quality and effects of UN peace operations.