UN high-level week: Official luncheon for Nordic and Caribbean foreign ministers
Ministers of the CARICOM and Nordic countries,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour to be present at this joint Nordic–CARICOM luncheon, for the second year in a row. It is a particular honour this year as we commemorate CARICOM's 40-year anniversary!
Allow me also to congratulate St. Lucia on assuming the chairmanship of the organization.
Cross-regional exchange is crucial in order to enhance our understanding of global issues and identify ways of addressing the key challenges of our time. This lunch is an excellent arena with precisely that objective. It is also very timely that climate change, sustainable energy and the blue economy are today’s topics.
No one needs to explain the importance of climate change to the Caribbean. For you, it is an existential threat, as we were all so sadly reminded of when hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas only a few weeks ago.
Norway and CARICOM-members are strong partners.
This partnership is now more important than ever. As the Secretary General has so clearly pointed out:"Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment".
We therefore need to stand together in setting ambitious global targets and speak with a strong, unified voice at the COP 25 this fall.
Climate change threatens to undermine the health of our oceans, with implications for fisheries, tourism and livelihoods.
Through the Green Climate Fund and other mechanisms, Norway continues its support of climate resilience and adaptation in individual CARICOM-countries.
At the same time, it is evident that a sustainable blue economy will be key to reach several of the SDGs, particularly in ocean states. Norway is actively engaged in this work, as our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eriksen Søreide, will elaborate on shortly.
Before I conclude, however, I would like to mention Norway’s candidature to the UN Security Council for the period 2021 to 2022.
20 years after we last served on the Council, Norway is now seeking the support of our CARICOM-partners to serve as elected member together with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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.