Official visit to Ethiopia: Reception hosted by the Ambassador
Ladies and gentlemen,
The ambassador has indeed kept us quite busy while we have been here in Ethiopia. It has been a very interesting program;
From we were received by the President and had a meeting with him - which was very fruitful - to the UN team that we also had the pleasure of hearing some insights from. We had a meeting - and I delivered a speech - at the African Union, and it was very interesting to see how we can cooperate further. Today we were able to go a little bit outside of Addis to a health conference and also see the health workers at the ALERT Hospital - all those everyday heroes that go in and work tirelessly with quite challenging situations. We also looked at sustainable development at the Barga Watershed Project today - a national project spread all over Ethiopia, I have understood. We had a chance to have a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Ethiopia, and we have been tasting Ethiopian coffee quite a few times by now... It's very good by the way!
It is a great pleasure for the Crown Princess and me to be with you this evening. I am pleased to see so many representatives from Ethiopia, the international community and Norway gathered in this beautiful garden under the African sky.
Our two countries share many of the same priorities. We agree that the UN Sustainable Development Goals should be at the heart of our efforts for a better future for all nations. We have established long-term development cooperation covering a wide range of sectors from health and education, gender equality and migration to climate change. We are now eager to develop new partnerships and opportunities in trade and business.
Friendly ties between our two countries date back a long time. As many of you probably know, the first Norwegians to live and work in Ethiopia were missionaries. Their dedication to improve health services in southern Ethiopia was what prompted my grandfather, the late King Olav V., to visit Ethiopia in 1966. Being able to retrace some of his footsteps means a lot to me.
To my fellow Norwegians: I would like to thank you for the important work you are doing. Seeing your commitment to improving livelihoods in a country far from home makes me both humble and proud. Witnessing the mutual interest in strengthening business ties in areas such as renewable energy and agriculture makes me optimistic.
Ethiopia has demonstrated great willingness to undertake global responsibilities. This is shown by your membership of both the Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council. Norway stands ready to shoulder similar responsibilities. That is why we have put forward our candidature for the Security Council for the period 2021-2022.
Norway will continue to seek new partnerships to deal with some of the most pressing challenges of our time. No country can address these challenges alone – we need to seek solutions together.
Please join me in a toast to continued friendship and cooperation between our nations, organisations and institutions.