Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg on the Global Goals Award in New York 19 September 2017.
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Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen
I would like to start by thanking our hosts and their partners for making this important event possible. Tonight the spotlight is on the Global Goals and on a number of outstanding role models.
The Global Goals adopted by world leaders two years ago are changing the world and the way we understand global politics.
The 17 Global Goals have put development issues right at the heart of ’high politics’ for the first time in history.
These goals are now the main political track for addressing the pressing issues of our time.
Whether or not all leaders have understood this, it is only by working to achieve the Global Goals that we can find sustainable solutions to problems such as conflict, terrorism, forced migration and youth unemployment.
The Global Goals can also be a powerful tool for all those seeking to hold political leaders accountable.
I am delighted that President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is here with us tonight.
She is the first democratically elected female president in Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
The first time I met her was in 2012, when I visited Liberia together with representatives of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
President Sirleaf was hard at work rebuilding Liberia after years of civil war. I was very impressed by what I saw.
Despite the challenges her country was facing at the time, over 160 000 people who had fled the civil war in Ivory Coast were registered as refugees in Liberia under President Sirleaf’s watch.
I would also like to highlight the strong leadership she showed during and after the Ebola outbreak.
This made it possible for systematic analyses to be carried out, which in turn led to initiatives like CEPI - the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, thus helping to strengthen the global epidemic response.
I am thrilled to have Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on board as a champion of CEPI.
Ladies and gentlemen, as I think you will all have realised by now, President Sirleaf is a woman of action, and someone who recognises the importance of results.
It is with great pleasure that I present the Goalkeeper Award to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.