Speech/statement | Date: 2017-05-19 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By Former State Secretary Tone Skogen (Council of Europe. 127th Ministerial Session, Nicosia 19 May 2017)
Statement by Norway, delivered by State Secretary Ms Tone Skogen at the Council of Europe, 127th Ministerial Session in Nicosia 19 May 2017.
When the Council of Europe was established in 1949, it created a vision – and the architecture with which to fulfill that vision. For almost 70 years, it has delivered.
Together with institutions like the UN, the OSCE, and the EU, it has delivered peace, personal freedom and prosperity.
The lesson learned is evident. Many of the challenges the world faces today – conflict, terrorism, poverty and forced migration – stem from the inability of leaders to abide by the rules and to protect human rights.
How can Europe contribute to solutions, how can we promote human rights and the rule of law globally, if we fail to do so at home? How can we make a difference if we fail to learn from our own lessons learned?
Rather than losing sight of the Council of Europe's norms and standards – we should let them be our compass.
We must all comply with our human rights obligations, also during challenging security situations. It is crucial to protect groups at risk, including sexual minorities, and secure gender equality in all our member countries.
Widespread violation of rights represents a security threat in itself.
The importance of the European Court of Human Rights cannot be exaggerated. That is why Norway has chosen to increase its voluntary contributions to the Court.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN – including our 47 member states, have agreed on a global roadmap.
The Council of Europe should play an active role in promoting the implementation of these goals. We should discuss how the Council of Europe can contribute even more to securing quality education, gender equality, building accountable institutions and ensuring the rule of law in member states.
Let us stand up for the values that have made Europe such a success. Let us remain faithful to our commitments, the integrity of our institutions and the territorial integrity of our member States.
We owe it to our predecessors – but, most of all – we owe it to future generations.