New report on policy coherence for development
Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim presented the first report on effects of the Norwegian Government’s policies on development in poor countries.
“Development is not just about aid. Most policy choices we make in Norway have some impact on development in poor countries. Our aim is to ensure that our policies have positive synergies,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
The report gives a number of examples where Norwegian policies are in line with international development goals. It demonstrates that the Norwegian Government is aware of how Norwegian policies affect poor countries. However it also shows that there are areas where Norway can improve.
“Our efforts to promote our own welfare and interests have positive and negative impacts on other countries. It is important for us to be aware of this and to encourage debate on this issue. The report can help us to adapt our policies to be more conducive to development,” said Mr Solheim.
Rich countries often benefit from positive effects of other countries’ policies, while at the same time managing to avoid negative ones. This is not always true of poor countries. The report deals with a number of important areas such as access to research and education, technology, trade and investment, health, peace, security, human rights, gender equality and, not least, climate policy.
“The impacts of the policy choices we make here in Norway are felt in the rest of the world, and we voice our views clearly in many areas. This is why what we do at home must be consistent with what we do in poor countries so that we do not undermine our own credibility,” said Mr Solheim.
The importance of pursuing coherent Norwegian policies for development was discussed in an official report published in 2008. This was followed up in 2009 by the white paper Climate, Conflict and Capital. The Government hopes that this new report will help to stimulate further debate on this issue.