The September 2005 Summit at the UN General Assembly represents an important opportunity to review progress in implementation of the Millennium Declaration and in addressing global issues that have become even more urgent since the year 2000. We concur with the Secretary General in that the aims of the Declaration can be achieved, but only if we, the member states, are willing to adopt a package of specific, concrete decisions this year.
- Norway supports the comprehensive approach in the Secretary General’s report ”In Larger Freedom”, addressing challenges in the field of security, development and human rights as issues which are closely interlinked, but which are also important in their own right
- Norway’s priorities include; improving the peace building capacities of the UN, improving the human rights machinery, endorsing the principle of responsibility to protect and promoting the initiatives in the humanitarian and development field, with a particular view to meet the Millennium Development Goals
- Cross-sectional issues such as gender equality, children, development, environmental sustainability, HIV/AIDS and the role of civil society in creating new partnerships should be reflected not only as Millennium Development Goals, but as crosscutting issues integrated into UN programs wherever relevant. Norway believes that the Summit should endorse this basic approach
- An effective multilateral system is essential in order to arrive at joint solutions to global challenges. As a strong supporter of the United Nations, Norway will work for UN reform in all areas highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report; reforms that will enable the UN system to play a more effective role in the management of global peace and security, in combating world poverty and in human rights and other relevant areas
The 2005 Summit should give a strong impetus to reach the MDGs by 2015. MDG targets should be better integrated into comprehensive, country-owned poverty reduction strategies.
- The carefully negotiated balance in the Monterrey consensus should continue to form the basis for the scaling up of financing for development:
- The responsibility of developing countries for putting forward sound, transparent and accountable governance and development strategies should be emphasized
- Norway warmly welcomes the announcement by the European Union to scale up ODA to the 0.7% level by 2015, as well as the intermediate targets set for 2010. Countries that have not yet announced such timetables are encouraged to do so
- Debt relief continues to be important for poverty eradication and MDG fulfillment. We welcome the announcement of new debt relief measures by the G-8 and stress the need for additionality in the financing of debt relief measures
- As a means to ensure swift delivery, the new commitments on ODA and debt relief should be closely monitored
- We support the call for a completion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations in a way that will fulfill its development promise no later than 2006, as well as duty- and quota-free market access for all exports from the least developed countries
- Private sector involvement and foreign direct investment will – with due regard paid to corporate social responsibility, accountability and transparency – be essential to generate growth and employment in developing countries
- A global endorsement of the Paris Declaration on harmonization, with a full list of targets for implementation should be included in the outcome document
- We recognize that in order to reach the MDGs the systematic subordination and inequalities facing women need to be eliminated. Using the Beijing Platform for Action as the foundation of which gender dimensions of these goals are understood and addressed, development effectiveness can be enhanced in a powerful way.
- We support the proposal to intensify the battle against infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and pledge to step up our support to the global efforts. We support the proposal to establish a specific target and accompanying indicators under MDG 5 on universal access to sexual and reproductive health services by 2015 through a strengthened primary health care system. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential components of HIV/AIDS prevention.
- The essential partnership in development efforts between the UN system and the international financial institutions needs to be fully recognized and reflected
- Environmental sustainability is a precondition for all efforts to meet the MDGs. The Summit should therefore reconfirm the commitments contained in the declaration from the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
Peace and collective security
Norway is committed to working for a strengthened system of collective security, based on the Charter of the UN, to prevent, mitigate and remove threats to peace and security, to promote economic development and human freedom, and to provide effective security for all States and peoples.
- We remain dedicated to the special role of the UN in the peaceful resolution of disputes, and we will continue to support the good offices of the Secretary-General in conflict prevention and mediation
- We have noted with interest the proposal to strengthen stand-by capacities for rapid deployment of UN military peacekeeping forces and civilian police. We are looking forward to taking part in more detailed discussions on the subject. We welcome the increased co-operation between the UN regional and sub-regional organisations as yet another means of strengthening the global capacity for peace operations.
- The full participation of women in peacebuilding and conflict prevention and resolution must be emphasized by the Summit in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325.
- Norway supports the proposal to establish a new peacebuilding commission in the UN and stands ready to take part in the consultations now needed on composition, mandate and reporting lines
- The proposal to set up a multiyear standing fund for peacebuilding is positive. Clarification is needed on its relationship to existing peacebuilding mechanisms within the UN, to country-specific multidonor trust funds, to programs related to post conflict and reconstruction in the international financial institutions and to the composition of the peacebuilding commission. Given satisfactory clarifications to the above, Norway intends to make a substantial contribution to the proposed fund
- Norway supports the idea of establishing a Peacebuilding Support Office within the Secretariat. We believe that the office should be relatively small, and with a primary aim of effectively supporting operations in the field drawing on all relevant competencies within the UN System
- We support the call for all States to pursue and intensify negotiations to advance general and complete disarmament and strengthening the international non-proliferation regime. Compliance and verification needs to be clearly addressed
- Norway supports the comprehensive UN counter-terrorism strategy. A comprehensive convention on terrorism should be concluded as soon as possible
Human rights and the rule of law
Norway strongly supports the proposals to elevate the position of human rights in the United Nations, alongside security and development.
- We support a strengthening of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to more effectively respond to the broad range of human rights challenges facing the international community. To this end we favour a doubling of resources to the OHCHR from the UN’s regular budget. The treaty bodies and the special mechanisms should in our view be made more relevant to OHCHR’s operational activities, to the UN at field level and to the reporting states. The effectiveness of the human rights treaty bodies needs to be improved, including through additional resources. The implementation of their recommendations should be strengthened. We agree to the need to strengthen the mainstreaming of human rights into the activities of the United Nations.
- Norway fully supports the recommendation to embrace the responsibility to protect, and for States to act on it in accordance with the Charter of the UN
- Norway strongly supports the proposal to strengthen the capacity of the UN in promoting the rule of law, and welcomes the establishment of a Rule of Law Assistance Unit within the UN Secretariat
Strengthening the United Nations
To play its role and meet the challenges of the 21st Century, the UN needs reform and modernization in a number of areas. This remains a core objective for the Summit.
- The General Assembly with its universal membership, should play more important and focused role in addressing the major substantive issues of our time. Its agenda and working methods must undergo a major overhaul for the Assembly to revive this role.
- Norway believes that the Security Council must be reshaped and expanded to strengthen its legitimacy and efficiency. We support an expansion with both new permanent and non-permanent members, but do not support providing new members with veto power. A decision on Security Council expansion should preferably be taken before the Summit and all efforts should be made to ensure broad based agreement. We feel strongly that this matter should not hinder reform efforts in other important fields discussed at the Summit
- ECOSOC should engage itself more effectively to better address the current economic, social, environmental, humanitarian and human rights issues. We believe that ECOSOC could play an important role in follow-up and review of the major UN Conferences including by monitoring and reporting on developed and developing countries’ progress to achieve the MDGs
- We support the proposal to up-grade the Commission on Human Rights to a Human Right Council, reflecting the centrality of human rights in the UN system. Its functional relationship with other parts of the UN system should ensure that the Council is made able to operate efficiently and effectively to strengthen the UN human rights machinery. It is of crucial importance that the best features of the Commission are retained, such as the special procedures and the active participation of NGOs.
- Norway supports management reforms to make the United Nations a more effective and efficient instrument for forging a united response to common threats and needs. Efficient resource and program management, accompanied with effective accountability, are critical. It is therefore essential that matters of management, administration, personnel, accountability, transparency and oversight are dealt with in a comprehensive and integrated manner at the Summit. This modernization of the United Nations should also, while strengthening accountability, transparency and oversight functions, safeguard the authority and responsibility of the Secretary-General and prevent micro-management by Member States
- We are concerned with the lack of progress with regard to gender balance within the Secretariat. We need to utilize the full potential of both men and women to create a more efficient United Nations.
- Efforts within the UN Development Group to make the UN development system less fragmented, more cohesive and aligned with country development programs should be strengthened. Norway has, together with a group of likeminded countries, presented comprehensive proposals for reform of UN operational activities. More radical reforms may be needed in the medium to longer term to address structural constraints for improved system coherence
- Humanitarian reform needs to be addressed substantively, in particular with regard to strengthening headquarters and field coordination structures and the leadership of the UN humanitarian coordinator. The humanitarian coordinator will need improved access to funding. Norway stands ready to make substantial contributions to the UN to improve the international response in humanitarian crises
- We welcome the increasing cooperation between the UN and regional organizations such as NATO, EU, AU, ECOWAS and others in increasing the capacity of the international community to respond more quickly and more efficiently to peacekeeping needs