Historisk arkiv

55th UN General Assembly Second Committee - General Debate

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Stoltenberg I

Utgiver: Utenriksdepartementet

State Secretary of International Development Norway Sigrun Møgedal

55 th UN General Assembly Second Committee – General Debate

2 October 2000

Mr. Chairman,

The hopes and aspirations of "We the peoples" are reflected in the United Nations Charter. In important UN decisions over the years. In agreed language from Rio, Copenhagen, Cairo and Beijing.

The Millennium Assembly provides an opportunity to renew our collective commitment to action. To dedicate ourselves to multilateralism. To commit ourselves to a strengthened United Nations. To recommit ourselves to poverty eradication as the number one global priority.

In doing so, let us pause for a second and be utterly frank: Previous experience has shown that setting targets is not enough. It is far from enough. If the target of reducing poverty by half by 2015 is to become more than fine words, we have to be broader in our response and take new and additional action. Set our benchmarks, talk less and listen more, overcome barriers and focus on results.

A key is to ensure that the process of globalization is steered so as to yield positive results for developing countries. Globalisation offers opportunities and implies risks. Its opportunites must be applied to conquer poverty. Its risks must be counteracted so that the poor are empowered and not marginalised.

Therefore, we must invest in the United Nations. Therefore, the UN must participate and claim ownership in the debate on managing and financing global public goods.

Improved market access for developing countries is increasingly standing out as an essential part of economic and social development. We – the members of the United Nations - should act accordingly. We have learned the lessons from Seattle. The next round of trade negotiations must be a development round.

We must strengthen the United Nation to enable it to play its rightful and intended role in partnership with the Bretton Woods institutions. A genuine partnership, that is, based on recognition of the strengths and potential of each institution.

The ongoing efforts in many countries to develop their own strategies for poverty reduction must be supported. And supported vigorously. Development must come from within, or it will not come at all! "Donorship" must be replaced by ownership.

Mr. Chairman,

Financing of development is essential. Failure to live up to commitments made has all too often been the main obstacle to progress. My Government is determined to go beyond our current 0.9 per cent ODA/GNP ratio to reach a full 1 per cent. We will also significantly increase the share of our ODA being allocated through UN organizations.

Why? Because we act better when we act together. We have no desire to stand out as a donor. We strongly believe that all nations should contribute in line with their capacity to do so. And quite frankly, some countries clearly do not.

Only a UN put on a sounder, more predictable and secure financial basis will allow us to accomplish our mission to fight poverty.

Poverty cannot be conquered unless we make use of the opportunities offered by globalization. The poor must be included, not excluded.

Poverty cannot be eliminated without new and innovative private-public partnerships that will mobilize additional energies and resources.

This is why my Government intends to play an active role in the preparation of next year’s LDC Conference. That is why Norway, in cooperation with UNCTAD, will invite all LDCs to a Conference in Oslo next January to discuss the role of the private sector in our war against poverty.

Strengthened public/private partnerships are also needed for more targeted efforts to combat disease and poverty. My Government has recently pledged 110 mill USD to one such partnership, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. We have done so to join hands with others to save the lives and protect the health of some 25 million poor children who annually fail to receive immunization against easily preventable diseases. We have done so because we consider vaccines, in conjunction with sustainable primary health care delivery systems, a very cost-effective tool against poverty.

We strongly believe that innovative partnerships such as GAVI will strengthen the role and effectiveness of the United Nations. They should not be seen as undermining the authority of the UN, but on the contrary as additional vehicles to enhance the legitimacy and influence of the world organization.

Another priority is strengthening the capacity of developing countries to make use of the innovations in information and communication technology. We fully support the ECOSOC ministerial declaration on ICT, and the establishment of the UN Digital Task Force. Norway provided support for the high-level panel of experts on ICT. We are also providing financial support for the establishment of the UN Digital Task Force.

A more development-friendly international framework for trade and investment is absolutely necessary to promote sustainable development. Debt relief is another prominent challenge. Full and equitable financing of the HIPC mechanism is a litmus test of the ability of the international community to stand by its word. To live up to the standards of good global governance. To act upon the right to development.

Needless to say, making the international environment more conducive to development and poverty eradication is futile in the absence of good governance at the national level. With good governance, poverty can and will be rolled back. Without it, poverty will continue to plague our planet

In acting together the division of labor among the multilateral institutions must be clear. Yet, much to our regret, it has become more blurred. Partnership requires complementarity. We must create synergies, not turf battles.

The conference on Financing for Development will provide an important arena for such synergy. We would like to see this conference turn into a launchpad for renewed cooperative efforts and a more robust multilateralism in the age of globalization. The inclusive format of the conference augurs well for innovative thinking. This opportunity must not be missed.

Mr. Chairman,

To help promote development and poverty reduction worldwide, Norway looks to the UNDP. The UNDP enjoys the trust and confidence of program countries and is a key dialogue partner. The UNDP is also the institution most inseparably linked to the core development functions of the UN as a whole. Norway- already by far the largest per capita contributor to UNDP- will substantially increase her support to a strong and resilient UNDP.

In his Millennium report the Secretary General called our attention to the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS. Not only as a health issue, but as a development problem of disastrous proportions. We must respond to his call. My government has decided to double the funding for AIDS programmes and also engage more broadly in the challenges of AIDS in poverty. The world is living with AIDS. We are all affected. The coming UN Special Session will provide an important opportunity to take stock and agree on new and strengthened action in this field.

Mr. Chairman,

For years we have spoken of the interrelation between peace and development. Clearly, this linkage should become better translated into the operational activities of the UN. The Brahimi report contains many useful proposals. The report should be acted on – it is an important building block in our quest for comprehensive peace.

Here as elsewhere we meet the widening gap between the tasks of the United Nations on the one hand and its resources and capacity on the other. We must close this gap. We must close it with increased resources. And we must close it through necessary reforms to achieve a stronger and more relevant UN system.

We remain convinced that the most immediate and direct way to ensure the trust of the nations in the UN system is to demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of UN activities in the field, at the country level. It is our mutual responsibility to enable the UN to fulfil this role.

In the field, as in the headquarters, pooling of resources and joining of forces should be our command.

Mr. Chairman,

The war against poverty must be waged on every front. But each battle and every front must come together - and can only come together - in the strategies that we jointly hammer out here in the United Nations.

To quote the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan: Multilateralism is the foundation on which we together shall build the platform that will allow all countries to board the express train to globalization.