VIDEO STATEMENT (transcript)

as delivered by Mr Jonas Gahr Støre,
Prime Minister of Norway




                                                                                    Check against delivery

11 December 2023

Norway’s engagement in, and with,  the UN has deep roots.

We have a fundamental interest in a well-functioning global order where right prevails over might – where relations between states are governed by law.

Norway has a longstanding commitment to solidarity and partnerships across borders, to support others and to preserve our own interests. This is integral to achieving sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights.

We believe that the fulfilment of human rights is an investment in human dignity, conflict prevention, and in building prosperous societies.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Thus reads the fundamental tenet upon which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established.

We have achieved much progress over the past 75 years. We have stood up for human rights and democracy. Together with members of civil society, we have advanced this agenda. But so much more remains to be done. So many people do not enjoy these rights as they should.

Furthermore, Human rights defenders continue to be essential in promoting and protecting all human rights for all. – Including gender equality and women’s rights.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Such an important statement. We reaffirm our commitment to its aims.

On this basis, Norway is pledging:

To support and protect human rights defenders, online and offline, at home and abroad, and through pursuing initiatives in the UN.

Norway will promote policies and public statements demonstrating the positive and legitimate role of human rights defenders. – In their promoting human rights, gender equality, democracy, the rule of law, peace and security, and sustainable development.

Norway will encourage and support national-level monitoring efforts to further the implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and its underlying rights.

We will enable official national statistics on the situation of human rights defenders, so we can prove the reality of their efforts.

Finally, in realizing this pledge, we remain committed to working with partners from all regions, in relationships of respect and openness. We will listen to the views of all sides and seek common solutions and consensus. And we will raise, with countries and groups that do not respect these rights, our concern and our dedication to support brave people who stand up for rights for all.

Thank you.