Development Minister Holmås with UN Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. 
Photo: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ragnhild Simenstad.Development Minister Holmås with UN Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. Photo: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ragnhild Simenstad

New Norwegian Minister on first UN visit

4/19/2012 // In his first visit to the UN as Minister for International Development, Mr. Heikki Holmås emphasized the importance of women and showcasing results of development efforts in poor countries when he met with key UN leaders.

Mr. Holmås  was in New York to meet some of Norway’s most important UN partners. He met with the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, UN Women chief Michelle Bachelet and Deputy Executive Directors of the United Nations Children's Fund and UN Population Fund.

"There is no doubt that women are the most important resource for development. Investing in women is not only the moral thing to do, it also makes financial and economic sense. It's great and important that the UN remains aware of this," says Holmås.

In his meetings Holmås also addressed the need for equitable distribution and challenges associated with climate change.

- I spoke with UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos about what can be done to prevent people from dying due to the famine in the Sahel region. Many people need emergency relief aid. People must be enabled to use farming methods that are adapted to climate change, which causes less rain to fall and crops to wither, says Holmås.

Norway contributes about USD 1.39 billion (NOK 8 billion) to the UN-system every year. Around USD 335 million (NOK 2 billion) go to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and USD 260 million (NOK 1.5 billion) to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Mr. Holmås stressed the importance of striving to achieve concrete results for every development dollar.


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