Prime Minister Solberg: “The SDGs are the roadmap to the future we want”

Norway's Prime Minister, Ms. Erna Solberg, praised the SDGs in Brussels. Photo: Benoit Burgeois / European Parliament

Norway’s Prime Minister, Ms. Erna Solberg, stressed the importance of international cooperation, gender equality and decent work while advocating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Brussels.

“The strong involvement of Parliamentarians all over the world is crucial in the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, Ms. Solberg told European Parliament in Brussels, 7 June.

The Norwegian PM gave the keynote address on behalf of the UN Secretary General’s group of SDG Advocates, which she co-chairs. The meeting on sustainable development was initiated by Ms. Solberg and hosted by President of the Parliament, Mr. Antonio Tajani.


The SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets (169 in total) to be achieved within 2030. They were adopted at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Read more about the SDG campaign here.

“The SDGs are not primarily an aid agenda. All countries, including countries in Europe, have to work do at the national level to reach the goals”, the Norwegian PM told SDG Advocates and members of The European Parliament.

Ms. Solberg emphasised the need for more cooperation, integration, cross-border investments and trade.

“Isolationist policies and economic protectionism are as futile as trying to turn back the clock. They simply won’t work. Not in Europe. Not anywhere”, she said, and concluded “the SDGs are the roadmap to the future we want.”

Read the entire speech here.


Gender equality

While in Brussels, Norway’s PM also gave a speech at the European Development Days and attended a SDG event focused on the younger generations.

“We can and must be a part of the SDG campaign”, Ms. Solberg told the audience on the opening session of the European Development Days, organised by the European Commission.

In her keynote speech, Ms. Solberg emphasised the importance of gender equality:

“Gender equality is a human right. If this argument is not sufficiently convincing to leaders I meet, I also remind them of the immensely positive effect that increased gender equality has on a country’s economic growth.”

She also told the audience that goal 8 – on decent work – is another example of how the SDGs apply throughout the world.

“Youth unemployment is a universal challenge, affecting rich and poor countries alike. About 40 million new jobs have to be created every year just to keep up with the growing number of people of working age worldwide. Good governance and the rule of law are basic preconditions for all investors, public as well as private. Governments and other stakeholders in all countries now need to think innovatively about how to stimulate job creation. ”

Read the entire speech here.