“Human rights and democracy are under considerable pressure in many parts of the world. It is therefore important that Norway is increasing its support to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), politically as well as financially. We urge other countries to do so as well,” said Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide, as Norway last week entered into a four-year agreement on support for UN human rights efforts.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the opening of the 37th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OHCHR on long-term, strengthened cooperation between Norway and OHCHR during the period 2018-2021. Norway has set aside up to NOK 150 million for 2018, an increase of NOK 20 million compared with 2017.
'Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is more important than ever to fight against the forces that are trying to undermine fundamental rights. OHCHR is a clear, principled voice in support of international norms and the principles of the rule of law. I am concerned that lack of financing is restricting the UN's efforts to promote member states' compliance with their human rights obligations,' said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
Only about 3 % of the regular UN budget goes to OHCHR. Human rights are one of the three pillars of the UN, alongside peace and security and sustainable development.
'Insufficient funding means that measures and resolutions to support human rights are not implemented in practice. This in turn weakens the impact of measures in other areas. If we are to succeed in creating lasting peace and in realising the sustainable development goals, human rights cannot be disregarded. Norway will continue to be at the forefront of international efforts to promote human rights,' Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide said.