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På FN-konferansen for handel og utviklings (UNCTAD) toppmøte i april 2012 fremmet Norge gjeldsarbeid på flere arenaer. En av dem var i FNs generaldebatt. Der viet Astrid Helle Ajamay store delen av talen sin til å fortelle om hvor viktig det er med en ny gjeldsslettemekanisme, retningslinjer for ansvarlig utlån og at Norge gjennomfører sin egen, første kreditordrevne gjeldsrevisjon.
Vi synes særlig det var flott at Ajamay brukte SLUGs gamle slagord i talen sin i det hun fastslo at "gjeldsslette ikke handler om veldedighet, men rettferdighet".
Se videoen på UN Webcast (du kan også velge å høre den på arabisk).
Astrid Ajamays tale
Mr. Chairperson, Excellencies, Dear delegates
UNCTADs thirteenth quadrennial ministerial conference is an important opportunity for the international community to enhance efforts to promote fair and sustainable development. It is an opportunity to focus more closely on equitable development and on shared economic prosperity that respects the environment and serves both men and women.
Development strategies should be inclusive and designed to meet human needs and reach the Millenium development goals. In all parts of the world, it has become evident that development strategies must be based on good governance, on democracy, on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of women.
UNCTAD has an essential role in addressing the comprehensive development challenges. These challenges include defining the role of the state in development, reducing inequality, promoting inclusive growth and decent work.
Norway is a long-time friend of UNCTAD, not just in words but also shown through political and financial support over many years. In our view UNCTAD is an important actor within trade and development.
We have cooperated for a long time with UNCTAD on debt-related issues. UNCTAD is and should remain the focal point within
the United Nations system for dealing with debt issues. It can build on a long history in research and analysis as well as
experience from technical assistance in debt management.
UNCTAD recognized the need for debt cancellation before countries came together to agree on The Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC). Today, many developing countries that received debt cancellation through the HIPC-initiative again risk facing debt distress. This indicates that there is a need for a new debt work-out mechanism as well as solid Principles for responsible lending and borrowing. A new debt work-out mechanism is especially urgent now that HIPC is running out.
Recurring debt crises the past decadesshow that international principles and rules are necessary. We also recognize that debt cancellation is not just about charity, it is also about fairness. This is why Norway in 2006 cancelled debt on the background of our co-responsibility as a creditor and we are in the process of carrying out the first ever creditor-driven debt audit.
Resolving global issues requires coordination between states and – often – the introduction of international standards, which can be implemented more easily through multilateral action. On debt issues, the United Nations has an important and complementary role to play through its mandate, through its broad member base and through its position as a non-creditor.
I would like to thank UNCTAD for its work on the issue of responsible lending and borrowing. We welcome the new guidelines: Principles on promoting responsible sovereign lending and borrowing. The new principles are to a large extent, principles and practices that sovereign borrowers and lenders already follow. What is new is the attempt to compile these principles into a set, and to have them recognised and formalised at the global level, thereby filling an important gap.
Norway supports the initiative financially, and I am pleased to announce that we also fully endorse the Principles politically.
We highly welcome that Unctad XIII has included a full day for gender equality. The World Development Report 2012 on Women and Development, argues convincingly that gender equality is smart economics. Countries that create better opportunities and conditions for women and girls can raise productivity, improve outcomes for children, make institutions more representative, and advance development prospects for all.
This is very much in line with Norway’s own experiences. Women’s participation in the work force and strong position in politics has contributed more to building the Norwegian welfare state than the oil from the North Sea. Only a society that put to use the whole population in productive work and promote women in decision making will prosper in the long run.
We have for a long time requested that UNCTAD to a larger extent identifies and addresses the differential impact of trade policies on women and men. We would like to see UNCTAD develop strategies to expand trade opportunities for women producers and facilitate the active participation of women in national, regional and international trade decision-making structures and processes. In short; UNCTAD should put strong emphasis on mainstreaming gender in all its work.
UNCTAD’s challenge is to demonstrate its relevance to developing countries in terms of providing them with the analysis and tools they need to understand the systemic challenges and opportunities that they face in the pursuit of development. UNCTAD should therefore be at the forefront in the search for coherence in economic and social policies, at both the intergovernmental and inter-institutional levels, in pursuing improved development prospects and opportunities for the South.
As has been pointed out UNCTAD has many important tasks before it. This requires an efficient and sound organisation.
Norway therefore welcome the decision by this Conference to give due consideration to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit and sees it as an important opportunity for improvement and strenghtening.
As a friend of UNCTAD, Norway is concerned with what we perceive as considerable organisational weaknesses in UNCTAD over years. In strengthening UNCTAD, efforts should be made to enhance its efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability, including through effective results-based management. UNCTADs member-States must contribute by effective guidance and oversight and by providing political support and adequate ressources.
We expect that an adequate follow up plan of the review will be established in the near future. If the Members and the Secretariat can agree on a credible way forward, Norway is ready to assist in that process.
Thank you for your attention.