29 November 2018.
Thank you Madam President,
Allow me to thank the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance for their work over the past year. Norway particularly values the Committee's work on facilitating individualized approach meetings.
We believe there is also potential for using a similar format of in-country fora that allow for an open dialogue between national authorities, the UN, donors and mine clearance operators on how best to support the most effective survey and clearance process possible.
International cooperation and assistance is an important contribution towards our shared goal of a mine-free world by 2025. Norway has consistently been one of the five largest donors to landmine survey and clearance for many years. With only six more years to go before 2025 and with new contamination as a result of new use of improvised mines, we see a need for increased donor funding and a potential to increase the number of donors to mine action.
At the same time, we recognize that more funding alone will not be sufficient to achieve a mine-free world. We need to make the most effective use of available resources. National mine action plans must build on evidence-based surveys to avoid wasting resources on full clearance of areas where there is no actual contamination.
Norway has been a consistent partner in humanitarian mine action since long before the Mine Ban Convention came into being. In fact, Norway first began supporting clearance in Cambodia through Norwegian People’s Aid 25 years ago.
Last year, Norway’s support to humanitarian mine action worldwide was 329 million Norwegian kroner, approximately 40 million US Dollars. The same level of support has been maintained in 2018. Norway supports mine clearance and risk education in around 20 countries around the world, in addition to our support to victim assistance in a number of countries. Our main partners are Mines Advisory Group, the Halo Trust, Norwegian People’s Aid, Humanity and Inclusion and the ICRC.
Gender equality is mainstreamed throughout all mine action programs supported by Norway. Earlier this year, the Norwegian government presented our new humanitarian strategy, which increases the focus on protection of civilians against mines and other explosives, and identifies mine action as a prioritized area. In other words, Norway will continue to be a consistent partner for our common, mine-free, future in the years to come.