Membership of the United Nations has been a cornerstone of Norwegian foreign policy ever since the world organisation was founded in 1945.
The United Nations represents a vision of a world order based on the rule of international law. It is a key arena for safeguarding important Norwegian national interests in areas such as the maintenance of international peace and security, the law of the sea, sustainable development and human rights.
For Norway, the UN system is an essential arena for working with other member states to discuss, consult on and agree on common responses to global challenges.
As a friend and supporter of the United Nations, Norway is continuously looking for ways to improve the relevance of our own policies towards the UN and global intergovernmental cooperation. As a responsible member state, we must periodically assess not only whether the UN functions as efficiently as possible, but also whether we – as member states – have set the right priorities for the world organisation.
However, being a friend of the UN also requires critical analyses to identify fault lines, bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and a dedication to working actively with other countries across regions to promote adaptation and reforms.
The present report was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a background analysis for a policy review that will be used as a basis for a white paper on Norwegian UN policy, which will be presented in the autumn of 2012.
I hope this report will also be useful for readers outside Norway as a contribution to our dialogue with UN partners and other countries on how we can make the UN system even more effective and relevant in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.
Any comments you may have can be addressed to the team working on the white paper: .
Jonas Gahr Støre
Oslo, March 2012