Norway is in a tight race with Canada to fill a seat on the UN Security Council and have mounted an expensive campaign to make it happen.
Norway formally announced its candidature for a seat on the Council for the period 2021-2022 in 2007. Work to secure a seat on the Council was then started through regular diplomatic efforts. From 2016, this work was intensified, and the campaign was officially launched in June 2018. Norway’s campaign is guided by the principles of transparency and accountability. We will therefore provide information about how this work is carried out, and the costs entailed, on a six-monthly basis.
The Norwegian Government’s political platform states that the UN Security Council candidature is a key foreign policy priority. Gaining a seat on the Council will be important, not only because it is in Norway’s interests, but also because Norway will make a positive contribution to the Council’s work, particularly in the areas of peace and reconciliation, and sustainable development. Norway is running for one of the two available seats for the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), competing with Ireland and Canada. The election will take place on 17 June 2020. In order to be elected, support of two-thirds of the UN member states is required.
The campaign is based on all that Norway does in the area of foreign and development policy. As the Government’s political platform makes clear, the campaign for a seat on the UN Security Council is a general foreign policy objective. It is difficult to give a complete estimate of the campaign costs, as the whole of the Foreign Service is working in very different ways to help to secure support for Norway’s candidature.
The main campaign effort is taking place through normal diplomatic activities. Diplomatic efforts vis-à-vis the other UN member states are being intensified during the campaign period. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has identified the costs that are most directly linked to the campaign and to the preparations for Norway’s work on the Council, if it is elected.
As set out in the table below, the costs of the campaign in the period 2016-2019 amounted to just over NOK 29 million.
The prospect of a seat on the Security Council makes it necessary to prepare thoroughly in a number of fields. This in turn means that we need to build skills and expertise both in the Foreign Ministry and in other ministries. Costs incurred in connection with these preparations, including competence-building activities, are included in the overview.
Some diplomatic and consular missions have additional costs as a result of their intensified diplomatic efforts in the campaign period. This applies in particular to the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and to embassies that are responsible for other countries, and thus incur more travel costs. These missions have received additional funding.
Only extraordinary costs that are directly related to the campaign are included in the overview. Salaries and other costs relating to permanent employees in the Ministry and at missions abroad are not included in the overview.