Statement at the 113th Session of the IOM Council

Statement by Norway in the High-Level Segment on "The intersection between climate change, food security, migration and displacement". Delivered virtually by State Secretary Mr. Erling Rimestad, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Director-General, dear colleagues and delegates,


Climate change undermines our past development achievements as well as our future efforts. This has never been clearer.

Food production and climate issues are closely interlinked. Climate change, conflict, displacement, and hunger reinforce each other in a destructive way.

The IOM has documented how an increase in frequency and intensity of weather and climate-related events has a negative impact on displacement and the disruption of food chains.

We must intensify our efforts to combat climate change. We need to build climate- and disaster resilient societies. If we fail, more people will be forced migrate to escape poverty, hunger, and conflict.

We also know that the impacts of climate change are unevenly distributed. They affect disproportionately the poorest and most vulnerable populations, in particular women and children.

So, what can we do?

Achieving the targets of the Paris agreement is our first line of defense. We all need to raise our ambitions and deliver on our promises.

Secondly, there is a need for climate change adaptation and prevention. Norway supports efforts to promote preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

We also need more finance for climate-robust food production. As announced at COP 27, we stand by our commitment from Glasgow to double our climate finance, and within this to at least triple our support to climate adaptation by 2026 at the latest. We encourage others to deliver on their commitments.

In a few days, Norway will launch a new strategy for food security. The main objective is to contribute to climate robust food production by smallholders, and the development of local value chains and markets. Small-scale food producers involved in agriculture, fishery, and aquaculture are pivotal in preventing hunger.

Last, but not least, we need a more forward-looking humanitarian system, especially in areas of conflict and fragility. Most hunger crises have clear warning signs, and a great deal can be achieved through prevention and early action. Prevention is more efficient than restoration.

For this to happen, we need to work on stronger coordination and better sharing of data, analysis and information. Developing comprehensive early warning systems in fragile contexts is not an easy task and will require humanitarian and development actors to join forces. The work of the IOM on migration data must continue to be a high priority.  

SDG 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commits us to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. In addition, the Global Compact on Migration encourages us to work towards comprehensive international cooperation on human mobility. Norway will do its share also in the context of legal pathways for migration and inclusion.

The progress we saw towards achieving the SDGs has been reversed, and poverty is on a steep increase in many parts of the world. Combined with the effects of climate change, increased displacement inevitably follows.

The Norwegian government emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to our common migration challenges. We will look for the potential synergies between humanitarian and development efforts, as well as stabilization and peace initiatives. Our goal is to continue to support refugees and migrants, and at the same time strengthen host societies and local communities. Ultimately, and hopefully, our collective effort will mitigate the root causes for forced displacement and increase the protection and human rights of refugees and migrants.

Climate change, poverty and displacement are inseparably linked, and therefore need to be addressed as such. Our collaboration with the IOM on these issues is crucial, and Norway will remain a strong partner in your endeavors, Director-General.

Thank you, and good luck with the deliberations of the Council in the days to come.