Norway was one of the 51 founding nations of the United Nations in 1945 – 73 years ago. The UN has been an important organisation ever since, and is more relevant today than ever before. In order to reach our goals on climate change, security, inclusive and sustainable development, clean oceans, and free trade, we need effective multilateral institutions like the United Nations.
Rules-based multilateral cooperation is vital if we are to solve the greatest challenges of our time. However, multilateral cooperation is currently under pressure. Isolationism and protectionism are challenging the rules-based world order and hindering collaboration between states.
The important work of the United Nations does not always make the headlines. Today is an opportunity to bring to mind the crucial work the UN does. For example, every year the UN provides vaccination for 45 % of the world’s children. This helps save 3 million lives every year. The UN supports maternal health, helping over 1 million women every month overcome pregnancy risks.
In Vietnam, in addition to assisting the UNICEF on the development of the Vietnam’s Child Law, Norway also supported the UN Vietnam One Plan I and II as well as co-financed the designing, construction and operation of the Green One UN House in Hanoi, which was launched in 2015 (the One UN Initiative In Vietnam). Since 2007, Norway, as the sole donor, has been supporting Vietnam in its reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) efforts through the UN-REDD Vietnam Programme. As a result, the REDD+ Vietnam has been established as an independent agency (vietnam-redd.org), together with many success stories being documented across various Provinces thoughout the country (www.youtube.com). A hallmark for the Programme was the launch of the National REDD+ Action Plan (NRAP) on 4 May 2017, which provides a clear direction for the Vietnamese government’s efforts to sustainably manage and protect forests, across different sectors.
The UN has made it possible for us to agree on a roadmap to the world we want. The adoption of Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals demonstrated the unique value of the United Nations. These goals recognise that global challenges are also national challenges, and that they are closely interlinked.
For seven decades, Norway has been a consistent supporter of the United Nations and a rules-based multilateral order. We are one of the largest financial contributors to the UN. We consistently allocate 1% of our gross national income to development aid.
Norway will continue to be a consistent partner to the UN. We will continue to seek common solutions to the challenges we face in our common future.
Let’s celebrate cooperation on this year's United Nations Day!