Historical archive

Speech at opening of Norwegian Diplomatic Mission in Myanmar

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Office of the Prime Minister

Yangon, 4 November 2012

Sjekkes mot fremføring

Prime Minister of Denmark,
Ministers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

How pleased I am to be here today, on my first ever visit to beautiful Myanmar.

This country that I have heard and read so much about, but never before had the chance to visit.

The occasion is a happy one: the opening of the first Norwegian diplomatic mission in Myanmar.

The opening of this embassy office is a sign of our increased engagement and long-term perspectives in Myanmar. And it is a sign of friendship between our peoples.

The fact that we are opening an office together with our Danish neighbours reflects the close cooperation and relations between the Nordic countries. And very soon Sweden will join us - so this will be a truly Nordic office.

***

Norway has been working for decades for democracy to return to Myanmar.

We have supported both individuals and organisations that have been working for human rights and democracy, abroad and within the country.

And we were among the first to provide assistance when the cyclone Nargis struck your country.

Since the new Government, under President U Thein Sein, started its remarkable reform process towards political, economic and social transformation, our support has broadened and our contacts deepened.

Yesterday, I met with the President. I commended his visionary leadership. And I encouraged him to continue the path towards peace, democracy and inclusiveness.

Several members of my Government have visited Myanmar in recent years, and we have enjoyed receiving high-level delegations from Myanmar in Norway.

Within the last year we have received four ministers and parliamentary president U Shwe Mann in Norway.

In June, I was honored to receive Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Oslo.

Soon I hope to receive President U Thein Sein in Norway. The President has already kindly accepted my invitation.

My visit here today is a confirmation of Norway’s support for the changes taking place and our commitment to stand by the people of Myanmar in the time to come.

We know that the road ahead will not be easy. It will take time to recover from decades of isolation, economic stagnation and conflict.

It will require strong political leadership. It will require patience and hard work from all the people of Myanmar.

And it will require solid friendships in the international community.

***

Norway is a friend of Myanmar. We will continue to be so. We will share experience that can be of relevance to your country.

We will share expertise on inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and gender equality.

We will support the peace efforts and political dialogue that are necessary to secure a just and lasting peace for everyone living in Myanmar.

As a friend we will speak up when developments give cause for concern,
and as a friend we will help to find solutions.

The opening of this embassy office is of great symbolic importance. Relations between our people will grow ever closer in the time to come.

Norwegian tourists, companies, academics and civil society will come to your country. There will be contacts and cooperation in many different sectors and between many different individuals – and we will all benefit.

Before I give the floor to my Danish colleague and friend, allow med to introduce our newly appointed Honorary Consul, U Htet Nyi (also known as Kevin), and give him his official diploma.

Thank you all for being here.