Strengthening Partnership With Norway Through the Global Issues Dialogue

Posted by Maria Otero
May 10, 2010
Under Secretary Otero With Norwegian State Secretary

About the Author:Maria Otero serves as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.

On May 6, I led the first ever U.S.-Norway Global Issues Dialogue, which will strengthen cooperation on issues of interest to both our countries. Norway and the United States are bound by common values, rooted in the pursuit of democracy, human rights, and individual freedoms. I was proud to welcome the Norwegian delegation led by State Secretary Gry Larsen to discuss these key issues.

Over the course of the day, we talked about ways in which the United States and Norway can collaborate on climate change initiatives, partner in multilateral engagement, and carry out joint research on pressing issues, such as global health and regional and global water challenges.

We held a broad exchange on human rights issues, including strengthening the U.N. Human Rights Council, protecting human rights defenders, empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, combating trafficking in persons, upholding the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and promoting the decent work agenda.

Finally, we also discussed Arctic issues, including polar research, search and rescue, and other items on the Arctic Council agenda. Next month, I will travel to Oslo and the Arctic for the Ny-Alesund Symposium to further engage on these important issues.

I am pleased that other members of Secretary Clinton's leadership team held additional discussions with the Norwegian delegation. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Philip Gordon led discussions on European security, including developments in NATO and the OSCE as well as the High North and non-proliferation. Acting Assistant Secretary Van Diepen discussed disarmament issues and Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller discussed the new START treaty. Additionally, Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, and Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, led discussions on women's rights. These efforts contribute enormously to a strong, well-rounded partnership that moves our mutual desire for increased cooperation from words to action.



New Mexico, USA
May 10, 2010

Edward in New Mexico writes:

As we move to a more connected world meetings with such great intentions are well needed.

Pamela G.
West Virginia, USA
May 11, 2010

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:

We sometimes take for granted our relationship with Norway, I think we can learn from their policies on climate, gay rights, and women's rights. Hopefully, these talks will bring these important issues to the forefront of more countries then they will be able to work together to put pressure on those countries that don't put value on these causes.

West Virginia, USA
May 11, 2010

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

We're fortunate to have Norway as reliable ally for so long. Keep it going.

Sarah G.
District Of Columbia, USA
May 11, 2010

Sarah G. in Washington, D.C., writes:

@ Pamela G. in West Virginia:

I echo your sentiments. I believe that we share intrinsic values with the Norwegians. I also believe we can learn from them. They have one of the greatest health care systems in the world and always rank in the top three countries in the quality of life index. The gap in wealth of American society prohibits this from happening.

Like yourself, I am a proud, patriotic American, but there are ways in which we can adapt some of the positive habits of other societies, e.g., Norway's passionate hikers and outdoor adventurists, which contributes to improving the health of its citizens. While many Americans do exercise regularly, we have a serious obesity epidemic in America, and by following Norway's exercising habits as a whole, we could help the outlook of our nation.

Virginia, USA
May 11, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Maybe we could lose some of those excess pounds hunting whales just like the Norwegians do!

May 18, 2010

Joe in Canada writes:

Today May 18th completed one year. massacare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Please act upon accordingly to bring a solution to Tamil citizen of Srilanka. At least make an effert to allow humanitarian essential needs for Tamil people in concentration camps.

Thank you.


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