Statement by Norway on Management, Financial Control, Administrative Oversight and Human Resources (Agenda Item 4)

Norway’s statement on sexual misconduct and harassment during Agenda item 4 of the 71st Meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee: Management, financial control, administrative oversight and human resources.

Statement delivered by counsellor Kjetil Elsebutangen.

Thank you, Chair,

Norway would like to thank UNHCR for the update on the work of the Inspector General’s Office. We have a few comments related to sexual harassment and misconduct.

The #MeToo campaign has shown that sexual harassment and misconduct is widespread, and that the field of international aid and development assistance is no exception. The information provided by the IG’s office for this agenda item confirms this. We welcome the openness about the allegations received by UNHCR and expect that each of them will be followed up in a duly manner.

Sexual harassment and misconduct is completely unacceptable. This is not a new message. We have conveyed it long before the #MeToo campaign, and we do it again with renewed emphasis. We expect all our UN partners, including UNHCR, to endorse this message as part of their organisational culture.

Further, we expect all UN entities that receive funding from Norway to have ethical guidelines and good systems in place for preventing, reporting, and dealing with sexual harassment, misconduct, exploitation and abuse.

In this regard, we recognize that UNHCR is one of the organisations which has such systems in place and we call on you to further improve and strengthen these systems and make sure that they are implemented and used.

Norway will keep raising this issue with UNHCR and other UN partners at both political and official level and we look forward to continuing our dialogue on how we can best work together to fight sexual harassment and misconduct.

Thank you.