Rio+20: Holmås at plenary session

6/21/2012 // This statement was presented by Norwegian Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås at the plenary meeting during Rio+20 on June 19.

Chair, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen ,
I would like to thank the Brazilian Presidency. Thanks to all our colleagues that have been working all night and day.
Norway welcomes all the positive elements in the declaration. We are pleased with the language on gender equality, but I would like to express our support to the statement by the US with respect to reproductive rights. We are surprised and dismayed by the lack of ambitions on sexual and reproductive rights. We believe these to be crucial elements in gender equality and sustainable development.
We would also like to express our support to African states with respect to UNEO. Norway would also have liked to see a declaration that reflected the views and ambitions of youth in a stronger way.
In the 20 years since the last Rio-conference we have had a 50 percent increase in greenhouse gas emission. We have witnessed strong economic growth, but also increased inequality. With increased inequality – in and between states - we get less trust – in and between states.
Norway believes that the sustainable development goals that we have agreed to develop need to have an even stronger impact than the Millennium Development Goals. That should be our ambition.
We all know that emissions have to be cut, but we also know that fossil fuels will remain an important source of energy. We have to find fair ways of distributing the right to emit the green house gases stemming from this source.
However, green growth will be the preferred and necessary path ahead if we are to achieve our goals. This we have to do in partnership between governments and the private sector.
Norway urges all parties to work hard in order to not let down our children and grandchildren, the way politicians too many times have let down previous and present generations.
We have started off important processes that might or might not lead to a more just and sustainable world.
The next time world gathers in Rio de Janeiro, it will be in 2014 in order to celebrate the football World Cup. Between now and then we have to have demonstrated to the world that we are able to transform the declaration from this conference into actions.
Thank you.

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