Hilsen til World Woman

Oslo, 30. januar 2015

Utenriksminister Børge Brende holdt denne hilsenen til World Woman-arrangementet i Oslo 30. januar - et arrangement for å fremme likestilling og deltakelse.

  • Good evening everyone. I was so happy to be invited. Congratulations, Deeyah Khan, on this wonderful and inspiring event. I am honoured to be here.  
  • For me, promoting women’s rights is not just the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do. Without the participation of women,
  1. development suffers,
  2. democracy suffers,
  3. and peace and stability suffer. 
  • These are some of the reasons why Norway promotes gender equality and women’s rights.   
  • When I became Foreign Minister, one of Norway’s first achievements was the adoption of a new UN resolution, in December 2013. All 193 member countries supported the first ever resolution on the protection of women human rights defenders. It will remain a signature resolution, because it sets out the right vision and stakes out the right path. 
  • No woman, anywhere, should be subjected to violence or abuse because she dares to speak up against injustice. Our obligation to human rights defenders – and to our societies – is to ensure their protection, in order for truth to be told, and for justice to be upheld. All leaders must be held accountable. They must take concrete steps consistent with their obligations. We cannot let them forget or disregard our fundamental freedoms. 
  • The Norwegian Government is intensifying its work to promote freedom of expression in foreign and development policy. We are providing safety training for journalists. We are strengthening our efforts to ensure safe working conditions for journalists, writers and artists. Because we know that without these voices, without your voices, our policies will be less informed and our democracy more fragile.
  • In some countries, women cannot exhibit their work or perform in public. In many places, cultural expressions are subject to restrictions and censorship, and the authorities decide what is permitted and what is unsuitable or dangerous. Their decisions are often imposed by force. 
  • Freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar of democracy, and must be safeguarded. It includes the right of artists to freely express themselves. Norway was among the first countries to promote the freedom of artistic and cultural rights in the UN. And I am delighted that Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, is here today. 
  • Albert Camus once said that ‘Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation of art is a gift to the future’.                                                                  
  • I am pleased to join you this afternoon, at this celebration of the freedom of artistic creation. 
  • I commend you for your brave and beautiful work. 
  • The Foreign Ministry is a proud co-sponsor of ‘World Woman’. I wish you a successful gathering. Thank you.
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