Norwegian People's Aid congratulates the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a successful election campaign for a seat at the UN Security Council. Norway must now prove itself worthy of the confidence given by the UN Member States, and put its words into action.
- With the seat comes access, relevance and influence. Norway will have continuous access to the five permanent members of the Security Council, Norway will be relevant to other states that do not have the same access, and its influence can be significant if Norway dares to invest. This is a unique opportunity, says Secretary General Henriette Westhrin.
Norwegian People's Aid expects Norway not to allow international humanitarian law to be set aside by any major powers, but ensure that the obligations that international law represents will be upheld and defended. Particularly now, the world needs a Security Council that can take charge and hold states accountable for their actions.
Israel has announced that they will initiate the annexation of the C-areas in the West Bank on 1st July. This is a violation of resolutions previously adopted by the Security Council and a violation of international humanitarian law. Norway must work for a Security Council denunciation of annexation and countermeasures against Israel, if necessary. This will be an important litmus test of whether Norway is serious about defending international humanitarian law.
Norway must work for more openness and transparency in the Security Council and actively invite representatives of the Palestinian people to shed light on the political and social consequences of the annexation.
Norway must also put nuclear weapons on the agenda in the Security Council. Norway needs to make the Security Council acknowledge that nuclear deterrence does not create security, but poses an unacceptable risk, and that efforts instead should be put into developing sustainable security strategies. Norway must be a clear voice pushing for immediate nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including by demanding a reversal of the dismantling of the arms control regime and by supporting the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Norway must work to renew and extend the resolution that has secured the provision of emergency supplies to areas in Syria that are not controlled by the authorities in Damascus.
The resolution has been renewed annually since it came into place. However, this year, it was curtailed, so that humanitarian actors have limited access to north-eastern Syria. The result is that it is a lot harder than before for the UN to reach the population in these areas. Half of Syrians in need of relief live in these areas, and it is the civilian population, mainly women and children, who suffer under these restrictions in an already extreme situation.
- We’ve seen before that small states can make a big difference. We expect Norway to be a distinct and fair voice for peace and security, and we look forward to paying close attention to the important work that needs to be done, Westhrin concludes.