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Panel #2: Social inclusion and cohesion

Statement held at Palais des Nations, Geneva, 8-9 May 2017.

We consider it important that the Compacts discussion are sufficiently widely framed to cover all key aspects of the issue. The three side events will in our view contribute to this, and we welcome them. In particular, we think that the event on Mainstreaming Health into the global compacts should provide useful inputs for the discussion, by discussing issues that are not necessarily covered directly by the three panels. 

The Norwegian welfare model is dependent on high participation in the labour market. The Government will pursue an integration policy which encourages migrants to enter employment and education, and become tax payers and contributing citizens.

Migrants shall be met with requirements to contribute and participate. Considerable effort is expected from each and every person coming to live in Norway. At the same time, they must be provided with incentives and opportunities to participate, both in employment and in society as a whole. Efforts are required of all instances: the authorities, the local communities, NGOs, the labour market and business sector.

The government will, in cooperation with the social partners, establish a fast-track into the labour market for those who have qualifications that are needed in the labour market ("easy to place"). The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) offers labour market measures such as work practice, wage subsidies a and close follow-up. These measures are combined with Norwegian language training in cooperation with the municipalities.

The integration process needs to start as early as possible. Time spent in a reception center has to be used more efficiently. Activities such as Norwegian language training and training in cultural and social studies should be given soon after arrival to the country.

50 hours of training in cultural and social studies are included in the Norwegian language training given to asylum seekers. The training contains information on obligations, rights and basic values of the society.

The government has recently established integration centers for persons in need of protection. The aim is to facilitate faster access to employment and participation in the Norwegian society. Residents of the integration centers are offered a full-day program consisting of different modules.

Settlement in municipalities shall occur as soon as possible after residence permit has been granted. Previously acquired skills and qualifications shall be put to use. Newly arrived refugees has an obligation and a right to participate in an introductory program. The program, arranged by the municipalities, offers necessary training for work or education, and language training

The voluntary sector plays an important role in establishing contact between the local community and newcomers to Norway. To facilitate the cooperation between residents in reception centers and the local community, the government will run a project with community coordinators.

CLOSING REMARKS AND SUMMARY

We thank all the panelists and moderators for their valuable inputs in the process towards a GCM.

A good feeling to have started this process for real. 

Impressed with the amount of member states that have taken the floor and the diversity of views that have been expressed. Especially interesting to hear about experiences on the national level

One recommendation that Norway would like to put forward is that the organizers make sure that the panels covers various aspects of the different thematic sessions we have ahead. We think that a good balance of views covering different realities and experiences in the panel will be important for the success of whole process.

We also think we should strive towards finding common ground wherever possible and avoid dividing the member states in groups without denying the fact that states have different concerns regarding migration.

Finally, we would highly recommend that the summary of these two days of discussion include all the views, suggestions, recommendations and cautions that have been expressed by member states and the civil society, and that these views will be brought forward and seen integrated in the final papers at the end of this exercise (process).

Thank you