A shared future in a fractured world

Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a joint press conference with all the co-chairs of World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, 23 January 2018.

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I would like to focus on two issues that are close to my heart and essential to the achievement of the global goals: Anti-corruption and gender equality.

Both relate to equal opportunities for all.

First:

Corruption and illegal financial flows, are linked to the whole range of security threats we face today: Climate change, terror, organised crime, cyber-crime, to mention but a few.

We face multiple challenges, not limited by national boundaries.

In many countries inequality increases.

That feeds frustration and alienation. Conflicts multiply.

Corruption is a common denominator.

Corruption is destructive for economic, social, environmental and political development.

We need to promote joint action by governments, public sector, business, multilateral organisations and civil society on anti-corruption.

Perhaps a “me too” inspired campaign is what we need?

We need strong measures to weed out corruption in and among countries.

With social media – in the end – there is nowhere to hide.

The Sustainable Development Goals are interlinked.

Promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies (SDG 16) is key to achieve all the other goals.

So is increased domestic resource mobilisation, and a revitalized Global Partnership for sustainable development (SDG 17).

My second issue is gender equality.

The gap in economic and political power between women and men is a paradox.

 We know that women’s participation drives economic growth and development.

Getting women into paid work simply means using the entire talent pool of the workforce.

The barriers to women’s participation are past their expiry date.

Denying women equal rights has no valid ground.

Economically and politically it makes no sense.

Providing both girls and boys with education is a first step.

Quality education is the basis for jobs and income.

This is why we have made girls’ education a priority in Norway’s development cooperation.

I am inspired by young girls in many countries across the world, speaking up against outdated gender roles that are holding them back.

We, their political leaders, must come out in numbers and declare our strong support to their fight.

Let me use my own country as an example.

Women’s participation in the labour market has been an essential part of Norway’s move from poverty to prosperity.

Affordable childcare and generous parental leave schemes have made it possible for both mothers and fathers to work.

These welfare schemes are costly, but it is an investment that pays off. 

As for the private sector: A modern, competitive economy needs the best heads and hands, regardless of gender.

This is sound economics.

And believe me, the best one is often a woman.

193 countries have subscribed to the Sustainable Development Goals.

We have a joint and indivisible framework for a better world by 2030.

I expect this year’s WEF to push for the broad national and multilateral coalition we need for a shared future. 

Co-chairs at World Economic Forum in Davos 23 January 2018
The co-chairs at World Economic Forum in Davos 23 January 2018. Credit: Arvid Samland/Statsmininsterens kontor