On Monday, January 4, 2021, Norway took up a seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-2022 term as a non-permanent member. Norway commenced its term along with four other non-permanent members, namely India, Ireland, Kenya and Mexico, and will be a member of the Council until December 31, 2022. It is 20 years since Norway last held a seat on the Security Council, in 2001–2002.
This year, in addition to the five permanent members – the US, France, the UK, China and Russia – Norway will sit on the Security Council with the other elected members Estonia, Vietnam, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the first year, in addition to Ireland, India, Kenya and Mexico for the whole period.
Norway’s commitment to the UN has deep roots. As a founding member, Norway has been an unwavering and consistent supporter of the United Nations and the rules-based international system since the foundation.
“International law and human rights will form the basis for our efforts. Peace diplomacy, the inclusion of women, protection of civilians, and climate and security, will be our guiding priorities,” remarked Norway’s Ambassador to the UN, Mona Juul, at the national flag installation ceremony.
The Norwegian government will give priority in the Security Council to areas where Norway has particular expertise. It will use the experience gained from many years of engagement in peace and reconciliation efforts to build bridges and seek solutions to the seemingly intractable conflicts that appear on the Security Council’s agenda.
Norway will cooperate closely with all members of the Security Council and will promote constructive cooperation. Norway will give special priority to efforts to strengthen the protection of civilians, including children, and to promote women’s role and participation in international peace and security efforts.
In addition, Norway will work to ensure that the Security Council devotes more attention to considering how climate change affects international peace and security.
Interestingly, the United Nations Security Council Chamber was presented as a gift from Norway to the UN in 1952. Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg designed the chamber. Most of the furnishings are a gift from the Norwegian Government, as well as the famous mural by Per Krohg and the tapestry by Else Poulsson. Norway contributed 5 million USD to the restoration of the chamber in 2013.
The UN Security Council’s legitimacy and effectiveness are dependent on all member states playing their part so that the Security Council can fulfil its responsibility to safeguard international peace and security. Norway will shoulder its share of this responsibility.