Norway and Myanmar have close bilateral connections. The two countries established diplomatic connections in 1956. The Norwegian Embassy in Yangon was established in October 2013.
Myanmar is one out of four partner countries for Norwegian development aid to Asia. Globally it is one out of ten partner countries for long-term development. However, following the 2021 coup, Norway needed to reasses our approach. The Norwegian government froze our direct bilateral projects with the government from 2021.
At the center of activities are democratization, good governance, human rights and civil society, peace and reconciliation, humanitarian aid and support to basic services. Norway has focused on Myanmar in its action plan for the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Myanmar also receives Norwegian support through multilateral channels such as UN organizations and development banks.
Several Norwegian NGOs are active in Myanmar, such as Norwegian Refugee Council, Norwegian People’s Aid, Save the Children, Norwegian Church Aid, Care Norway, DIGNI, ADRA, Strømme Foundation and Norwegian Red Cross.
Over the last decade there have been a significant number of high-level visits between Norway and Myanmar. Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of Development from 2005-2012, visited Myanmar in January 2009, making him the first Norwegian minister to visit the country. In 2012 former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited Myanmar, and the same year Aung San Suu Kyi came to Norway to hold her Nobel lecture, 21 years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Myanmar’s former president U Thein Sein visited Norway in February 2013. In December 2014, TM King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway visited Myanmar, along with former Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende and a large business delegation. Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Søreide Eriksen visited Myanmar in 2017, and in March 2019, Norwegian Minister of Development Dag-Inge Ulstein visited the country.
At present Norway works towards defending and supporting human rights and democracy in Myanmar, including an effective humanitarian response.
Through our multilateral partners, Norway supports efforts for vulnerable groups' livelihoods, food security and access to basic services.