Norway thanks the panelists for their introductions. As this debate confirms, there is strong recognition that inclusion and participation are key to human development, human security and prosperity in any country. Development is clearly more sustainable if the principles of participation, non-discrimination and accountability are adhered to in practice.
Norway remains fully prepared to continue supporting states in their endeavors to realize human rights obligations. My Government recently presented a white paper to Parliament pledging to reinforce our efforts of integrating human rights into all aspects of Norway’s foreign and development policy.
Advancement of technical cooperation at the national level should also be seen in conjunction with the need to strengthen the third pillar upon which the United Nations was founded, namely the pillar of human rights. The international community faces a global challenge in terms of closing the gap between human rights commitments and the situation on the ground.
Norway commends the High Commissioner and his office for their efforts to provide technical support and assistance. The world needs this office to be independent, robust and relevant. In light of the increasing demand for technical support, it is essential that the Office of the High Commissioner is allocated a greater share of UN’s regular budget.
Strengthening the human rights pillar furthermore requires leadership from the very top of the UN system. Norway therefore strongly supports the Secretary General’s Human Rights Up Front initiative.
International human rights standards and principles such as equality and non-discrimination must underpin the entire post-2015 framework to make sure that no one is left behind.
In ending, we wish to ask the panelists advice on how donor countries best can take human rights obligations into account in devising national development policies and poverty reduction strategies?