07 July 2015

Secretary-General’s press stakeout with Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway [scroll down for Q&A]

God morgen! [Good morning!]

I am very happy to be back in Oslo.

Norway remains one of the most valued partners of the United Nations. I greatly appreciate its leadership across the international agenda, from peace and security to development, human rights and humanitarian action.

Prime Minister Solberg and I have just had a very constructive meeting on many issues of peace and security, development and human rights.

I thanked Prime Minister Solberg for Norway’s outstanding commitment to official development assistance. I urge other developed countries to follow Norway’s strong example.

I also welcome Norway’s support in the field of education. I thank the Norwegian Government for hosting today’s Summit and for its efforts to reach the 58 million children around the world who are still being denied their right to education.

I will continue to count on Norway to play an active role in the crucially important period ahead.

We have three milestones in front of us.

First is the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, next week in Addis Ababa. This is an opportunity to agree on a comprehensive financing framework for the post-2015 agenda.

Second, in September, world leaders will gather in New York to adopt a new development agenda, including with a set of sustainable development goals. I hope to see Norway represented at the highest possible level.

Third, in December in Paris, parties to the UN will gather to adopt a new and meaningful climate agreement. Climate action can not only meet the threat but set us on course towards a more secure and prosperous future.  Later today, I will visit the Svalbard Islands for a second time to see for myself the consequences of climate change.

I again thank the Government and people of Norway for their global citizenship and for their support of the United Nations at this time of challenge and opportunity.

Tusen takk. [Thank you very much].

Q: On potential achievements of the Oslo Summit.

Secretary-General: As you are well aware, the Member States have been negotiating since last year, in an Open Working Group, how we can make this world sustainable in an economic, social and environmental dimension. They have provisionally agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Education gets a very good support from the Members States, as a stand-alone Goal, which is a very important one.
In addition to this, Member States are now trying to address all the spectrums of our lives, not only the people but also the planet, so I think this is going to be a people-centred and planet friendly, long-term vision initiative.
I sincerely hope that leaders, including Prime Minister Solberg, will come and adopt [the SDGs] for our future. […] How we should implement this one, our means of implementation: that is what we are discussing in Addis Ababa, the monitoring, the review and the accountability, and how these commitments can be delivered. At this time, for that, we need to forge a strong partnership among governments, business communities and civil society. I am very much encouraged by such voluntary support and the momentum created among those tripartite partnerships.
Q: On financing education, including in humanitarian emergencies.

Secretary-General: I am going to meet Gordon Brown this afternoon and also Madame Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, who is chairing this global partnership for education.
It will be very important to have a coordinated support from all the various initiatives and I am also asking the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, to fully support this one, and Mr. Gordon Brown, to coordinate fully with UNESCO. [The Global Partnership for Education] needs some concerted, coordinated effort in order not to overlap, duplicate all these initiatives.

Q. On Malala´s comments on military spending and financing of education. How could the UN contribute to make the dysfunctionality – i.e. the balance between military spending and spending on education – a little bit less dysfunctional?

Secretary-General: I have often been saying that armament is overfunded and peace is underfunded. We need to invest more on development, sustainable development and peace initiatives. As many experts have pointed out, if we use a small fraction of this armament money - the investment in armaments - we can have a huge impact on supporting the human lives in a much more sustainable way.
This is why the Member States are now trying to have a Sustainable Development Agenda. This covers the whole spectrum of our lives. This is very broad and future oriented, targeting people and also the planet. Targeting people means eliminating poverty and saving lives from preventable diseases, unnecessary deaths. That is one thing.
Now, planet sensitive means that we have learned the wisdom, how we can learn to nurture our only planet Earth. How we can live harmoniously with nature. Nature does not wait for us and nature does not negotiate. Simply, we need to know how nature works, so that we can preserve this planet Earth in a sustainable way.
Therefore, this vision of Sustainable Development Agenda is a far reaching, long-term vision, making the planet Earth and our succeeding generations live in harmony, in prosperity and peace and stability. This covers all spectrums, including a peaceful society, good governance, not only development. So, it is very important to make this a great success, including with a Climate Change agreement.