HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT 55th HRC. Statement delivered by State Secretary Andreas Motzfeldt Kravik, Norway (27.02.2024)


HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT 55th session of the Human Rights Council
(26 February - 5 April 2024)

Statement delivered by State Secretary Andreas Motzfeldt Kravik, Norway. 

                                                                                Check against delivery

27 February 2024

We meet at a time marked by conflict and human suffering, by growing inequalities, and by a widespread perception that the UN is not delivering on its promise.

It is precisely at this moment, that we must recall how the mandate of this Council – to protect and promote human rights for all – is a building block for prosperity and stability – within and between states.



To realize the Sustainable Development Goals, all human rights obligations must be implemented in tandem.

The fulfilment of human rights is not only an obligation of States, but also an investment in conflict prevention, and in building prosperous societies.

If the Summit of the Future and the PACT for the Future are to succeed in speeding up the implementation of the SDGs – we must mobilize far more resources.

We, the member states, need to reaffirm that human rights are crucial to achieving sustainable development that leaves no one behind. 


The Human Rights Council is mandated to prevent human rights violations and abuses.

Considering the extraordinary crises globally – this Council plays a crucial role, including when mandating independent investigations and monitoring.

As member states we have a joint responsibility to equip the UN with the necessary means to carry out its mandate. The current massive funding shortfall and liquidity crisis must be resolved without delay.


International humanitarian law and international human rights law must be respected by all. Violations and abuses are unacceptable. There is no room for double standards in international law.

The war in Gaza has lasted almost five months – causing immense suffering. While condemning the horrors of the 7 October terrorist attacks, Norway has repeatedly called for a sustained and enduring humanitarian ceasefire.

Appearing before the ICJ last week, Norway submitted that Israel’s recent actions in Gaza represent indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians. We need to find a clear path towards a two-state solution based on internationally recognized borders and international law, including the right to self-determination. 

For two years, we have condemned Russia’s violations of international law, including the UN Charter, for its illegal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine. A decade has passed since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Norway condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s continued aggression, which has brutally destroyed the lives of countless civilians. I wish to reaffirm Norway’s strong support to the Government and people of Ukraine, and their struggle to determine their own future.

There is a clear connection between external aggression and increasing internal repression. The deterioration of freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Russia is alarming. We are deeply concerned about political prisoners in Russia, with the tragic death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny as the most outrageous example. Russian authorities bear the full responsibility.

We must also not forget about ongoing conflicts not appearing on the news every day.

Norway is deeply concerned about the war in Sudan and the dire consequences for the Sudanese people. 25 million, including 14 million children, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The violence in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan, as well as in other crises around the world, affects all aspects of children’s lives and rights. No child should ever suffer from war, wherever it may be.

I have mentioned three situations in which those responsible for violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held accountable. There are many other examples, but the case is clear - international law must be applied equally, without double standards or selectivity. Our common future depends on universal respect for international rules. All states must resist temptations, based on short term national interest, to violate the fundamental tenets of the world order.


Worldwide, human rights defenders continue to be essential in promoting and protecting all human rights for all. Including gender equality and women’s rights. Their resilience is a source of hope. They must be protected, included, and supported - not silenced. 

Norway believes that we need a more agile and effective Human Rights Council - less polarised, protecting and promoting all human rights, for all, everywhere. The ability of the Council to act is even more important when finding common ground elsewhere seems difficult.

This Council is relevant for ensuring accountability, stability, prosperity and a more equitable world.

Thank you.