ANNE BEATHE TVINNEREIM, Minister for International Development of Norway, stated that the Russian Federation — “our neighbour” — is seeking to deny another UN Member State’s right to exist through an unprovoked and illegal war, while occupying the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, risking a grave nuclear incident. The war against Ukraine has exacerbated a global, negative economic spiral; however, she noted Norway’s efforts to counter those manifold crises. Her Government will cut emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and is investing heavily in offshore wind, carbon capture and storage. Meanwhile, Norway has provided more than $5 billion to tropical forest countries, and on food security, is providing $500 million this year for developing countries to offset the global ramifications of the war. She further noted that the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement shows that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea can adapt to evolving challenges.
Noting that COVID-19 was “a global wake-up call”, she called for better preparation better for the next pandemic, voicing support for a pandemic accord at the World Health Organization (WHO). The international community is familiar with the dividends of peace, yet “as a community, we have long underestimated the value of conflict prevention,” she said. Dialogue is at the heart of diplomacy, and Norway welcomes renewed regional dialogue in the Middle East, as well as signs of de-escalation and intensified diplomatic activity among the countries in the region. Her Government remains committed to seeking peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, despite concerning developments, and — in this thirtieth anniversary of the Oslo Accords — encourages greater efforts towards creating a viable Palestinian State. Norway supports the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the ongoing negotiations between the Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and maintains its engagement in the Horn of Africa.
In Afghanistan, Norway engages the de facto authorities in Kabul, as “if this can help to address the dire humanitarian situation — especially for women and girls, who are being deprived of education and a future — it is worth the attempt”, she stated. Human rights are at the core of the UN, articulating a binding agenda for fulfilling human potential — and are integral to the Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly, she stressed, “societies prosper when women and girls participate on an equal footing and are free to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The case for human rights is solid, whether approached from values, from the law, or more instrumentally. “We should therefore all be concerned that standards are slipping in many places,” she affirmed: “This has to stop.” Human potential is the most precious resource of Governments and must not be wasted.
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