UN high-level week: Official luncheon for foreign ministers from Nordic and SICA countries
Ministers of the SICA- and Nordic countries,
Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour to be present at this joint Nordic–SICA luncheon. Allow me also to congratulate El Salvador on assuming the Chairmanship of the organisation as of this summer.
The SICA countries are important partners for Norway. We enjoy extensive cooperation and exchange. We also share a strong interest in listening to – and cooperating with – other regional groups in order to enhance our understanding of global issues and identify ways of addressing the major challenges of our time.
I understand that this lunch is an annual undertaking with precisely that objective.
In view of SICA’s efforts aimed at regional integration aligned with the 2030-agenda, I appreciate that the SICA and Nordic countries have a lot in common. We are small countries that are best served by:
- a level playing field for trade,
- strong multilateral organisations, where all voices can be heard, and
- a rules-based international system, with the UN and multilateralism at its core.
We are ambitious about tackling climate change and preventing its devastating effects on both development and security.
We may be small players in the global arena, but the global arena has a huge impact on our core interests.
Moreover, climate change threatens to undermine the health of our oceans, with implications for fisheries, tourism and livelihoods.
On the other hand, the fact that there is no spot in Central America more than 125 miles (200 kilometers) from the ocean, speaks to the region’s relative potential in developing the blue economy.
It is therefore timely that blue economy, sustainable energy - and expectations and ambitions to the COP-25 are the main issues on today's agenda. As the Foreign Minister mentioned, Norway is running for the UN Security Council 2021 - 2022.
20 years after we last served on the Council, Norway is now seeking the support of our SICA-partners to serve as elected member.
The candidature is founded on our strong commitment to the UN and to international peace and security. Through our extended experience in peace and reconciliation efforts, we have demonstrated that Norway promotes solutions based on genuine dialogue, willingness to listen and pragmatic diplomacy.
As a Council member, Norway will take a global outlook – not representing a region or a block. Finally, Norway has both the ambition and the diplomatic capacity to make a difference in the UN Security Council.
I believe we have common interests and priorities on the most important issues of our time. I look forward to a fruitful exchange of views during the course of this lunch.