Follow Norwegian PM on peacemaking, aid, human rights

New Zealand should learn from the example of Norway on peacemaking, aid and human rights work, the Green Party says.

The Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik arrives in New Zealand today for a short visit.

“I want our government to take a lead from Norway,” said Keith Locke, Green Foreign Affairs Spokesperson. “With a population not much bigger than ours, it is leading the world in the delivery of aid to poorer countries, the promotion of human rights, and peacemaking.

“Norway’s aid level is currently four times our miserly contribution of 0.24 percent of Gross National Income, and we should aspire to matching its commitment.”

Mr Locke said that Norway was also actively promoting peace and human rights around the world.

“New Zealand has done successful peacemaking in Bougainville, but Norway’s example shows we can do a lot more.

“Its specialist negotiators have been involved in peace talks in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Colombia, Haiti, Guatemala, the Philippines, the Balkans, and between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Their most recent success has been in southern Sudan, where a peace agreement was recently signed.

“Norway also has a process of formal human rights dialogues with several countries including, in the Asian region, Indonesia, China and Vietnam.

“I hope Mr Bondevik inspires Helen Clark to devote more resources to this important work of bringing peace, development and democracy to suffering countries.”