H. E. KJELL MAGNE BONDEVIK
PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY
THE 57TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 12 SEPTEMBER 2002
Yesterday, we stood united in remembrance of all those who lost their lives a year ago.
The terrorist attacks on September 11 last year were an attack on us all. We, the member states of the United Nations, made this clear a year ago, in this hall.
Today, we stand united in unwavering determination in the struggle against international terrorism and in the fight for the values, ideals and human rights that this great organization is founded upon.
To succeed in our fight against terrorism, we must meet three crucial priorities:
First of all, as terrorism is a global threat, our response must be global and comprehensive.
To succeed the global coalition to combat international terrorism must be maintained, and further strengthened.
We must continue our common efforts to prevent and eradicate terrorism, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We must deny the terrorists access to weapons of mass-destruction.
We must continue to fight terrorism with all necessary means - political, diplomatic, legal, financial and military.
We must ensure that we are fighting terrorism on our own terms, upholding the values, the rights and the freedoms that the terrorists so despise.
Secondly, we must strengthen our common efforts to maintain peace and security.
A multilateral approach to global challenges, requires relevant and effective institutions. Effective multilateralism calls for a strong United Nations and effective regional organizations.
Norway stands fully behind efforts to strengthen the UN.
Thirdly, we must focus on root causes. I call on all member states to:
- to fight extremism and fanaticism,
- to protect and promote human rights,
- to resolve conflicts, and
- to eradicate poverty.
This is why to invest in development is to invest in peace.
The Millennium Declaration has set out the precise objectives - to which we all are committed.
We cannot afford to fail.
Development must be built on a global partnership, in which all partners have clear responsibilities.
At the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg a week ago, we reaffirmed our commitment to the Rio principles and agreements, to the Millennium Goals, to Doha and Monterrey. Together these agreements and declarations have given us a platform for renewed efforts towards our common goal of sustainable development.
The Summit in Johannesburg also demonstrated that promoting development and protecting the environment must go hand in hand.
Now, it is up to us to make it all happen.
Making it happen requires us to commit precise and ambitious aims within the most pressing areas of concern. We tried to do so in Johannesburg - especially in the areas of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.
Making it happen requires investment in people, that is: Education, respect for human rights, empowerment of women, and the enpowerment of the poor. We need more equitable sharing of wealth within and among nations.
Making it happen requires courageous and enlightened leadership. Good governance is indispensable for sustainable development.
Making it happen requires strong international institutions, both to monitor and to act on behalf of us all.
Last but not least, making it happen requires financial resources. I urge the leaders of industrialised countries to make speedy progress towards the 0.7 per cent ODA target. Norway intends to increase development assistance to 1 per cent of GDP by 2005.
The cycle of violence in the Middle East must be broken. We must all help to bring the conflict out of its deadlock. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defense, but a human disaster is unfolding before our eyes in the Palestinian areas.
I urge the Palestinians to deal effectively with the terror. The terrorist attacks must end. I urge the Government of Israel to recommit itself to the political process while halting its military operations and withdrawing its forces. Only a political process aiming at an independent Palestinian State and security for Israel, can lead to peace. As chair of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), Norway is working with other donors to help rebuild economic and social infrastructure, while ensuring reforms in the Palestinian areas through our work in the established Task Force on Palestinian Reform.
In the troubled and war-torn country - Afghanistan, we must continue our assistance in the years to come. We condemn the recent attacks against the lawfully appointed leaders of Afghanistan. The fight against the remaining groups of terrorists must continue.
I pledge Norway's continued support to Afghanistan. As the Chair of the Afghan Support Group (ASG), we have focused on the need for both humanitarian assistance and long-term reconstruction aid. A sustained international presence is essential. Winter is approaching and as many as 6 million people are threatened with famine. We must also ensure the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of girls and women.
Iraq must address the unresolved disarmament issues in accordance with Security Council resolutions. This means immediate and unconditional cooperation with UN weapons inspectors.
It is up to the Iraqi leadership to allay international fears and to prove that Iraq does not possess weapons of mass-destruction.
It is up to Saddam Hussein to step out of isolation, and bring Iraq back into the world community.
Political and diplomatic efforts to achieve these goals have not yet been exhausted. Iraq must comply with UN demands immediately. The responsibility for non-compliance lies on Iraq alone. Further action by the international community must be rooted in the UN.
The international community must stay fully engaged in resolving the conflicts that still prevail in many parts of Africa. Parties to armed conflicts must continue to show political will and ensure that diplomatic progress is translated into real results on the ground, including in the Great Lakes region. Too many have suffered too long from armed conflicts.
In the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea, we have seen that progress is possible when the parties and the United Nations work closely together. The search for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa must also focus on solving the conflicts in Somalia and Sudan.
Over the years, Norway has been actively involved as a facilitator in a number of armed conflicts.
In Sri Lanka, we have witnessed significant progress over the last few months. A cease-fire agreement between the government and the LTTE came into force in the end of February. The agreement has laid the foundation for direct political negotiations, which will begin in Thailand next week.
Norway is strongly committed to the protection and promotion of human rights.
Human rights are the platform for enabling people to choose and to develop their full potential.
Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, openness and democracy are values and principles we share. However, common values and principles are of little value if they do not lead to concrete results to the benefit of the individual.
Many of the problems we are facing are directly related to the fact that the very human rights and values we have all committed ourselves to, are not being lived up to. This we see in Burma, and in other countries as well.
As leaders, we have a responsibility to protect our citizens. We must focus on human security and protection from violence. Civilians are targeted or used as instruments for intimidation and terror. Women and children are increasingly vulnerable. Relief workers and others who volunteer to help people in need, are subject to deliberate attacks and acts of violence. Our commitment to human security means that we must effectively apply international humanitarian law.
The entry into force of the International Criminal Court is unprecedented. The Court represents a decisive step towards the end of impunity for the most serious crimes against humanity. We need an independent, effective and credible Court. We must work together to promote wide adherence to the Rome Statute. The goal must be a universally accepted International Criminal Court, so that no perpetrator of crimes against humanity and mass killings can feel safe.
Our resolve to promote social development, economic growth, democracy and human rights are the strongest means we have at our disposal in the fight against poverty and injustice, as well as in the long-term struggle to eradicate terrorism.
We must use the full spectre of means and measures to secure democracy and opportunity for every person on this planet. Only then can we hope to create a world in which there will be no more horrendous acts of violence, extreme aggression and terrorism.
Towards this end we need a strong United Nations. The multilateral system of cooperation can only be as strong and assertive as governments want it to be. We have a common responsibility to make it strong. We cannot think collectively, and then act alone - nor can we think in isolation and expect to act effectively together.