The situation in Europe has dramatically changed since the Council met for this discussion a year ago. By waging war against its peaceful neighbor, Ukraine, the Russian Federation has violated the fundamental principles of the UN Charter; the principles that underpin the security and sovereignty of every State.
The war has caused death, suffering, displacement, and the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the 2nd World War. And it threatens global food security.
We commend the EU for taking the lead in Europe’s concerted response to the war and for defending fundamental global principles and international law.
The EU has played a historically important role in transforming Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace. When peace again is broken in Europe, we need a strong EU, working together with the United Nations, and the Security Council, to contribute to advancing the causes of peace and prosperity.
Today’s meeting is therefore timely. I warmly thank you, High Representative Borrell, for your brief today.
Norway and the EU share a common vision of a rules-based international order and a free and democratic Europe. The EU has our full support as a steadfast promoter of multilateralism, and as an implementor of Council-mandated tasks such as EUFOR Althea. EUFOR Althea’s contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina is vital. Norway will work towards the renewal of the mandate.
In Africa, the EU plays a key role in peacebuilding, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, security assistance, and development. Norway recognises the strong EU commitment to the peace and security architecture of the African continent, including to AMISOM/ATMIS and G5 Sahel.
The upcoming UN-AU Joint Strategic Assessment of Security in the Sahel should be used to discuss the mutually reinforcing contributions of the UN, EU, AU and ECOWAS.
Combining our efforts in innovative ways is necessary to meet the complex security challenges in the region.
The EU and the UN must continue to join forces to respond to global challenges. Engagement in peace and reconciliation efforts is a key part of Norwegian foreign policy and a field where we work closely with the UN and the EU. We support the EU’s leading role in the fight against climate change and in addressing the security risks that arise from it.
Women's full inclusion must also be a priority in all our efforts. We commend the EU’s action plan on Women, Peace, and Security for its focus on gender equality, human rights, and peace and security within and beyond its borders.
The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to be part of our common European agenda. We will work together with EU and partners to mobilise resources for the recovery from the pandemic globally.
Russia’s war on Ukraine has consequences way beyond European soil. It hits the most vulnerable - women and girls, and those already strained from instability, climate change and Covid-19 - the hardest. Rapid global action is needed to increase food security, and to prevent the threat of a worldwide wave of hunger. Let me end therefore with our assurance that Norway will continue to advocate these shared priorities in cooperation with the EU, both inside and outside the Security Council.