Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen was appointed Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in New York on 5 September 2012.
The new Ambassador was previously Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for United Nations, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs. Read Mr. Pedersen’s bio here. He has a long career in the UN, amongst others as the Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon.
Pedersen is now leading the preparation up to the United Nations 67th General Assembly, the principle organ of the United Nations. During the opening of the General Assembly each fall over a hundred heads of states and government officials participate.
The long term plan is to secure a place for Norway in the Security Council in 2021.
“Norway can help to resolve tensions, and contribute to negotiation and dialogue between parties in difficult situations. A place in the Security Council is important for Norway, because it is where issues of war and peace are settled”, says Mr. Pedersen.
Norway in the United Nations
A main goal for Norway’s participation in the United Nations is to drive processes forward towards a stronger, more effective and relevant UN. This applies both to traditional security threats, international law as a binding agreement and in relation to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.
“Norway will particularly focus on development issues, human rights and gender issues as well as prevention of war this fall”, says Mr. Pedersen.
In relation to the Millennium Development Goals, Norway will prioritize improvement of maternal health, and reducing of child mortality. Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen points out that Norway is a major contributor to the UN, and serve as an important member state.
“Norway’s most important contribution to the United Nations is that we have good ideas, we have a good policy, and we can match ideas and politics with money that creates results”, says Mr. Pedersen.
Mr. Pedersen as Norway’s Ambassador
In person, Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen is an energetic representative. He is concerned that the United Nations needs to be more self-critical, and points out that Norway should dare to challenge both traditional and non-traditional collaborators.
“One of the most exiting tasks I have is to build alliances with others. What is important is that we not only build alliances with traditional peers, but also with countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America”, says Mr. Pedersen.
See more pictures from Mr. Pedersens first week in office at NorwayUN on Flickr.