Opening remarks:

Launch of Norway’s 5th National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Minister Huitfeldt's opening remarks at the lunch of Norway’s 5th National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, held at Marmorhallen in Oslo.

(Check against delivery)

Excellencies, colleagues, guests,

Today, I am honoured to launch Norway’s 5th National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Norway was among the first countries in the world to develop a national action plan on women, peace and security in 2006. At that time, civil society and research institutions were the driving forces in creating an action plan.

Today, 6 government ministries collectively contribute to the development and implementation of the action plan. And consultations with civil society and academia still provide valuable input and perspectives.

In addition to my government colleagues, we have with us Mahbouba Seraj – a women’s rights activist from Afghanistan.  

I have had the pleasure to engage with Ms Seraj on previous occasions, including in the UN Security Council where she has briefed on the dire situation for women after the Taliban takeover.

The insights she shares, and those shared by other women on the ground in Afghanistan, can be uncomfortable to listen to.

But they are crucial in informing international engagement. And they show the consequences of excluding women from political processes and efforts to build sustainable peace.

The past few years have shown a clear need to intensify global women, peace and security efforts. In prevention, in ongoing conflicts, and when new conflicts erupt.

We are witnessing a pushback on women’s rights at both the global and regional level.

The war in Ukraine has demonstrated how a conflict can both mobilise and affect an entire population.

It has shown how the impacts of war depend on people’s gender and sexual identity, and that war is still an arena dominated by men.

The action plan highlights Norway’s ambitions to strengthen and broaden our efforts for women, peace and security at home and abroad.

By emphasizing the link between national and international efforts.

The links between climate security and the women, peace and security agenda.

And by expanding the scope of priority countries and increasing emphasis security policy.

We work closely with partner countries on developing the agenda and share experiences on national action plans.

And we work with the UN, regional organisations and civil society to advance women, peace and security efforts in conflict and post-conflict countries.

Both the OSCE and NATO emphasise the need for training, for gender sensitive analyses of conflicts, and implications for the operational part of their mandate.

Our thematic priorities span longstanding efforts in peace and reconciliation, humanitarian affairs and human rights, as well as issues such as climate and security and conflict-related sexual violence as a tactic of war.

The key point is this:

There can be no lasting peace or security without the meaningful participation of women and the protection of women’s rights.

Thank you.