Our Common Agenda
Nordic Statement delivered by
H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland
Let me start by thanking you and the Secretary-General on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland for organizing this meeting today to further reflect on Our Common Agenda Report and the way forward.
We welcome the Secretary-General's report and look forward to the process of following up and discussing its many recommendations.
The report sets out to advance our common agenda and respond to current and future challenges as requested by our leaders in the UN75 declaration. The Secretary-General has delivered a bold and courageous report based on this solid mandate. It now falls on the Member States, the General Assembly, the UN system, and partners to ensure that Our Common Agenda Report receives the attention and action it deserves.
Many if not most of the recommendations are rooted in existing mandates and agreements, including the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Agenda 2030, and the Paris Agreement. The report should mobilize much-needed political support and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and other commitments we have agreed to.
We must follow up on those recommendations within existing frameworks where possible and begin to discuss those that need to be further explored, including at the proposed summits. It must be done in an inclusive and networked manner, as stressed in the report.
In our view, the UN General Assembly should welcome the report formally and begin a process of follow-up without prejudging possible outcomes. In this respect, we believe a brief procedural resolution would be the natural next step and serve as the first step on a path of further deliberations and decisions. It would send an important signal to the work that we - the Member States of the United Nations - are committed to addressing the many challenges we face. And to do so together and with other stakeholders and partners.
Let me briefly turn to some of the recommendations and takeaways, which the Nordic countries would like to highlight.
Climate change is a defining issue of our time. We fully agree that more ambition is needed, including on climate finance, to fulfil the commitments from Paris as we look towards COP26 in Glasgow and beyond to the proposed global stocktaking meeting in 2023.
We welcome the strong emphasis on renewed social contract firmly anchored in human rights and inclusivity, not least the strong focus on full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in all decision-making processes. Respect for human rights and the rule of law is key to achieving inclusive development. A global road map for more effective implementation of international law can play a positive role and further strengthen the foundations of the rules-based order.
We need a more meaningful engagement with youth, giving their strong voices more influence in shaping their and coming generations future. How to best safeguard and share global commons and public goods needs to be a part of our dialogue about the future.
We also appreciate the Secretary-General's call for a New Agenda for Peace to better understand and act on the underlying drivers that sustain conflict and agree on a more effective collective prevention and response. Furthermore, we should strengthen international foresight for conflict prevention and put women, girls, and youth at the center of security policy.
The Nordic countries welcome the idea of improving global Digital Cooperation to ensure that the potential of digitalization is used to the fullest while navigating the risks involved. The multistakeholder approach and inclusivity are essential elements of all digital cooperation, and human rights need to be equally respected both on and offline. Bridging the digital divides and ensuring that no one is left behind should continue to be our common priority.
If the UN is going to deliver, it needs to continue to evolve. Therefore, we appreciate the Secretary-General's ideas of "UN 2.0" that have the potential to make the UN more relevant, inclusive, and result-oriented in the future. Furthermore, the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency build trust in the UN, which, in turn, will allow us to achieve our common goals.
The status quo equals breakdown. Our greatest risk is inaction. We need to build on Our Common Agenda report to reinvigorate multilateralism, re-embrace solidarity and accelerate the implementation of our commitments and promises. The Nordic countries are ready to do their part.