The Norwegian Government has allocated NOK 20 million to fund human rights efforts in Eurasia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has entered into an agreement with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on the provision of NOK 20 million in funding. This will be used to support OSCE efforts to promote human rights, democracy, security and stability, and to strengthen the rule of law in the region. The agreement covers a period of three years and encompasses countries in Central Asia, the southern Caucasus as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.
“The developments we are seeing in terms of human rights and democracy in several countries in Eurasia are worrying. The funding we are now providing to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is an important contribution to reversing this trend,” says Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
“Norway works actively to strengthen respect for human rights both through direct talks with individual countries, and through multilateral organisations such as the OSCE. The agreement we have now signed with the OSCE is an important part of these efforts,” said Mr Støre.
OSCE missions in the region implement a wide range of projects every year in areas such as human rights, justice sector reform, and combatting organised crime and human trafficking. The funding provided by Norway will also be used to support OSCE activities in the field of the environment and economic development, part of the organisation’s broad-based approach to conflict prevention.
The Norwegian Government also provides support every year to OSCE institutions, such as the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), as well as to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, in the form of funding, personnel and election observers.