The Norwegian Government’s policy is based on human rights, both at home and abroad. The starting point for Norway’s efforts is that human rights apply to everyone, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented that sexual minorities are subject to massive rights violations. It is therefore important to ensure that everyone’s human rights are respected.
Norway support all initiatives by the UN, other organisations and authorities that promote non-discrimination and increase respect for human dignity.
Lifting persons out of poverty through strengthening the individual’s capacity and ability to care for themselves, their families and participating in working life and society, are major goals in Norway’s national and development policy.
The UN Secretary General has repeatedly pointed to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in national and international policies and programs. We are therefore pleased to observe that disability is increasingly included in several UN resolutions and documents and in particular the references to disability in the outcome document from RIO+20. We cannot pursue sustainable development without the meaningful involvement and active participation of persons with disabilities.
Efforts for vulnerable groups are a priority in Norwegian development cooperation. Among others we have developed a policy document for “Norway’s International Efforts for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. We are pleased to announce that Norway has contributed economically to the work of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Ensuring the protection of persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies, including both natural disasters and conflict and post-conflict situations, is of essence. The Mine Ban Convention from 1997 as well as the Convention on Cluster Munitions from 2008 provide obligations for States Parties to provide assistance to survivors of these weapons.
As the current President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Norway would like to emphasize the importance of including victims of armed violence in general in programs and activities promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.
Norway stresses the importance of including persons with disabilities in working life, health care, education, female empowerment, humanitarian assistance and democratic participation. It is also of major importance that persons with disabilities are included in the new UN - development agenda beyond 2015. We strongly support the outcome of the High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development held here in New York last fall.
It bears a high price for any society not to invest in children and youth. According to The Secretary General’s report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, early childhood interventions yield more positive long-term outcomes for individuals and society than later investments. It is important that all youngsters have access to education. Education increases the chance for getting decent work and secure future income.
Ensuring a society for all ages by promoting quality of life and active ageing is important. In the Vienna Declaration 2012 four areas were agreed upon:
- Longer working life
- Participation, non-discrimination and social inclusion
- Dignity, health and independence in older age
- Intergenerational solidarity
Norway will cooperate in the work in this field through the UN Economic and Social Council’s Working Group of Ageing.
Norway strongly supports the highly important work done by the Commission for Social Development to empower people and strengthen the social and economic situation for all marginalized groups.