Statement at the conference to support Ukraine's civilian resilience

President Macron, President Zelensky, Prime Minister Shmyhal, Colleagues, friends. Let me first thank the Government of France for hosting today’s Conference.

I think the message is twofold. First the war must stop. And then in their hour of need, it is essential that we all mobilise to help our Ukrainian friends, and that we maximize the effectiveness of our joint undertaking, which is:

The preservation of an independent and democratic Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders, where people can live in peace, security and prosperity.

And a Europe and a world where international law applies, including the core principle on which the United Nations was founded – the sovereign equality of all its members. This is why Ukraine’s struggle is our struggle.

To you Prime Minister, my dear friend, let me say in the clearest terms, Norway will stand with you as you continue your legitimate fight for survival, in the face of illegal aggression and unacceptable, unlawful and barbaric targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

We worry about the safety and welfare of your people, brave people, and commit to helping you through the winter, as we have done over the last year.

Last Friday my Foreign Minister signed an agreement that will provide 100 million euros to the World Bank’s infrastructure program for Ukraine.

This grant will contribute to repairing critical infrastructure such as the power grid, roads and hospitals.

For 2022 and 2023, Norway has budgeted 1.4 billion euros in support for Ukraine.

1.1 billion has already been provided, covering humanitarian, financial and military support. We are trying to respond to Ukrainian needs.

I am pleased to announce here that we are preparing further support for Ukraine in early 2023.

We have initiated a process with all of the political parties in the Norwegian Parliament and aim to agree a substantial, multi-year programme for Ukraine.

There is strong sympathy with your cause in Norway, and broad political agreement that we will be there for you through this critical time and in the years to come.

First, we will emphasise flexibility in our approach to supporting Ukraine – to make sure that we can address urgent needs as the war and the situation on the ground continues to evolve. For the immediate future, this means assistance to repair critical infrastructure, care for refugees and others displaced by the war, funding to sustain basic public services and continued military assistance. Let me add that there are Ukrainian refugees coming to Norway. They will be well received.

Second, we will underline the importance of international coordination. Building on lessons from other conflict- and post-conflict situations, we will emphasise the role of the Government of Ukraine in identifying needs, and owning the solutions. To this end, we welcome the G7 announcement yesterday to establish a coordination platform for short- and longterm support.

Third, we will invest with a long-term perspective. Not only to signal our commitment, but as a means to widening our engagement. It is our aim to help you through the war, but equally to build back better. By achieving EU candidate status, you have embarked on an ambitious reform agenda. We will support you on that path.

Fourth, we will work through organisations and mechanisms with a proven track record, including the international financial institutions, the UN and international humanitarian organisations.

Friends, let me end on a personal note.

This weekend we celebrated in Oslo the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, and I had the honour of meeting the representatives of the Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned in Minsk, the Russian human rights organisation “Memorial” and the Ukrainian human rights organisation “Center for Civil Liberties”. They all share the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meeting them was a stark reminder of the darkness that has descended on parts of our continent. Of the repression that has taken hold of Russia and Belarus, and the violence that has been brought down on Ukraine. It is totalitarianism against democracy and freedom.

It was, however, also an illustration of hope and exceptional courage. Hope that better days will come, and courage to fight on despite tremendous personal risks.

As we continue our deliberations here today, and in the months and years to come, let the example of these human rights defenders guide us, and inspire our efforts.

In pursuit of a Europe where everyone can live in safety and freedom.

Thank you. Slava Ukraini.