Cluster III: Freedom to live in Dignity
Norway welcomes the Secretary General’s emphasis in his report on the need to strengthen the rule of law both internationally and nationally and ensure respect for human rights. We agree with the concept that development, human rights and security are equally important and mutually reinforcing.
Rule of Law
Norway strongly endorses the Secretary General’s appeal to embrace the principle of "Responsibility to Protect" as a norm for collective action in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. When a State ignores its reponsibilities towards its own population, the international community cannot remain passive. When diplomatic, humanitarian and other means are not sufficient to help protect the human rights of civilian populations, the Security Council has the responsibility to take action under the UN Charter. In situations of mass atrocity the Council must act without hesitation and with authority and efficiency. At the same time we need to build greater consensus around the need for collective action and early diplomatic response, which can eliminate the need for military intervention.
Norway has been a staunch supporter of the International Criminal Court since its creation, and welcomes the Secretary General’s appeal to Member States to cooperate fully with this court, as well as with the other international or mixed war crimes tribunals. We must fight against impunity. Norway also shares the Secretary General’s view that there is a the need to strengthen the International Court of Justice, and looks forward to further discussions in this regard.
Norway agrees that universal participation in multilateral conventions must be strengthened and welcomes the Secretary General’s intention to hold another annual treaty event in the margins of the September summit with a focus on global challenges.
Norway shares the view that the current human rights machinery is in need of reform. We welcome efforts to elevate the position of human rights throughout the UN system and agree with the need for mainstreaming. More emphasis should be placed on technical cooperation at country level in order to achieve practical results. Norway has noted with great interest the proposal to establish a human rights council in order to make efforts in this field more relevant and effective. We welcome the intention to enable a permanent body to more effectively adddress evolving human rights situations. However, we feel that this idea needs to be developed further, and in this regard, we are greatful for the explanatory note that has now been circulated by the Secretary General, and which we will study carefully.
With regard to the OHCHR we agree that the office needs to be strengthened. In particular, there is a clear contradiction between the regular budget allocation of 2 percent for the OHCHR and its obligations under the UN Charter to make the promotion and protection of human rights one of the principal objectives of the Organization. Therefore, we hope the September Summit can result in a commitment to raise the level of the budget allocation to the OHCHR within a given deadline.
Norway agrees that the United Nations has an important role to play in promoting and strengthening democratic institutions around the world and that there is a need to increase capacity in this area. We are already supporting efforts in this area through various mechanisms, including through the UNDP and the World Bank. As regards the Secretary General’s proposal to create a Democracy Fund at the UN, this proposal must be carefully considered with a view to avoid duplication with existing mechanisms and facilitate coordination between the various UN actors at country level. Furthermore, the modalities for such a fund should be worked out with a view to avoid increased bureaucracy, such as new or separate governance structures.
Thank you, Mr Chairman