Norway’s formal accession to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Santiago, Chile, 4. oktober 2015

– Vårt mål er å utvikle et gjensidig fordelaktig forhold mellom Norge og Eclac, sa statssekretær Tone Skogen da Norges medlemskap i kommisjonen ble markert i Santiago, Chile søndag 4. oktober.

Sjekkes mot fremføring.

 

Dear executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, distinguished members, ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be here on the occasion of Norway’s formal accession to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Norway is a strong supporter of the United Nations, and we have an active engagement in Latin America in many areas. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has proven to be a perfect partner in our efforts to further strengthen ties and cooperation in this region.

Under Executive Secretary Bárcena’s leadership, the Commission has placed equality and structural change at the centre of the development debate. Since 2013, Norway has been cooperating with the Commission in sharing experiences to build political, economic and social pacts for equality.

Norway’s relationship with the Commission strengthens our strategic partnerships and our ties with the region and promotes collaboration in areas of common interest. Actually, we find common ground in several key areas.  Let me mention a few:

Latin America and Norway have a common interest in maintaining world peace and security, ensuring respect for international law and promoting economic and sustainable development. Furthermore, Norway and Latin America and the Caribbean work together in the pursuit of strategic cooperation to address global challenges and achieve international goals. This is particularly important for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which promote inclusive, quality education, gender equality, reduced inequality within and among countries and a strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.

 Norway is engaged at the international level in combating climate change and supports a wide range of activities that aim to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases. The Norwegian Government strongly supports efforts by tropical forest countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Norway’s partnership with Brazil is the most extensive in this regard, but we also have cooperation schemes with Guyana, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Norway and Latin America have a record of working together to promote human rights, with an emphasis on women’s empowerment, gender equality and indigenous rights.  The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of the International Labour Organization has been ratified by Norway and most Latin American governments. It is useful to share experience on topics such as the role of the state, the regulatory framework, management of natural resources, respect for the environment and relations between the authorities and the affected populations, with particular emphasis on prior consultations.

It would be an omission to talk about Norway and Latin America without mentioning peace, reconciliation and humanitarian disarmament. Norway and a number of Latin American countries are keen supporters of the Mine Ban Convention and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This has brought us together in various international forums over the years. Norway has also contributed to several peace processes, and is now co-facilitating the Colombian peace talks taking place in Havana.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that public–private partnerships, private sector investment and foreign direct investments play a crucial role in the economic and social development of this region.

Norway has sound expertise and technology in areas such as oil, gas, hydropower and fisheries. This has led to substantial Norwegian investments in various Latin American countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Chile.  Our economic involvement also includes increased investment by Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, which now holds investments in some 294 companies throughout Latin America.

As you can see, Norway’s interests and engagement in Latin America are broad and multifaceted. Today we are formalising our partnership with a crucial regional actor and providing a solid foundation for further cooperation in the years to come.

We believe that the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean and the Government of Norway can together help to bring about practical, results-oriented regional cooperation in Latin America.

We are confident that the Commission will provide us with access to networks and help us connect with the most knowledgeable experts on Latin American policy.

Through our interaction, we stand to benefit from the enormous wealth of knowledge that your experts and researchers possess.

At the same time, I hope that our partnership will allow the Commission to draw inspiration from Norwegian policies and practices. 

Our aim is to further develop a mutually beneficial relationship between Norway and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Thank you.