Human Rights Council 12th session
General debate item 2/3
Statement by Norway
18 September 2009
Delivered by Minister Counsellor Beate Stirø
Norway appreciates this opportunity to comment on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the second follow-up to the management review of the OHCHR. We would at this stage like to make the following points:
It is of key importance to us that efforts to improve the regional representation is balanced with efforts to improve equitable geographic distribution, including to address the problems of underrepresented countries as well as unrepresented countries.
Norway remains underrepresented in the OHCHR. As a major contributor to the UN, including the second largest to the OHCHR, this is of concern to us. Lack of participation in the daily work of the OHCHR could in the long run impact negatively on the engagement and willingness of the Norwegian people to maintain this high level of contribution. We would in this context advice against unbalanced efforts to improve regional balance that would make it even harder for underrepresented countries – like Norway – to be equitable represented.
We appreciate that the OHCHR pay special attention to the issue of gender balance. Nevertheless, there are still challenges with regard to the mid-level management and we encourage the Office to work even harder on this issue.
When putting in place measures to improve the geographical diversity of staff, it is important that these are transparent and predictable. In this regard we appreciate the concerns raised by the staff representatives, referred to in para 22 of the report.