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Archive for June 14th, 2014

Agreement on framework for political solution in South Sudan

Posted by African Press International on June 14, 2014

‘I am pleased that we can now see a positive development in South Sudan. IGAD and the parties deserve recognition for having taken an important step towards a peaceful solution to the conflict. The further negotiations will not be easy, and the parties must demonstrate that they really are willing to fulfil what they have promised,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.  

At a meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on 10 June, President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar agreed on the framework for a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan. The two parties have committed themselves to stopping hostilities and to reaching agreement on the establishment of a transitional government within 60 days.

‘The deadline for establishing a transitional government clearly reflects the fact that the international community expects the parties to the conflict to shoulder their responsibility. Norway supports the important effort IGAD has made to prevent further violence by means of the Monitoring and Verification Teams, which have been established to monitor the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and improve humanitarian access in South Sudan.

‘We will continue our support to IGAD and we will continue to engage directly with the parties to help to ensure that the agreements are implemented. This is essential if the pledges of humanitarian assistance made at the humanitarian conference in Oslo on 19-20 May are to benefit the people of South Sudan,’ said Mr Brende.

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Source MFA, NORWAY

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Norway in Europe – the Government’s strategy for cooperation with the EU

Posted by African Press International on June 14, 2014

The Government is today presenting its strategy for cooperation with the EU until 2017. ‘It is in our national interest to cooperate closely with the EU and to participate actively in the ongoing political processes in Europe. In order to successfully influence important decisions, Norway must be more clear and assertive, and more active in the early stages of debate on issues of European policy,’ said Minister and Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister Vidar Helgesen, who is also responsible for EEA and EU Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The strategy sets out the priorities of the Government’s European policy: increased competitiveness and greater value creation, higher quality education and research, an ambitious climate and energy policy, enhanced security, and a global approach to migration.

‘The objective of the Government’s European policy is to promote Norwegian interests and to contribute to positive developments both in Norway and in other countries. Cooperation with the EU is crucial for safeguarding Norwegian interests in our priority areas. If we are to gain support for our views, we must get involved in debates at the European level at an early stage, rather than presenting our input only when negotiations on the matter within the EU have practically been completed. This requires better coordination of Norway’s European policy,’ said Mr Helgesen.

A key instrument for implementing the strategy is the establishment of a European policy coordination committee within the Government. This committee is headed by Mr Helgesen, and relevant ministers take part according to the matters on the agenda at any given time.

‘Dialogue with Norwegian companies, regional and local authorities, the social partners, and other actors in society is essential for early-stage Norwegian influence on European policy development. European policy affects most aspects of society. Developing this policy should be a collective national effort,’ said Mr Helgesen.  

The Government’s strategy for cooperation with the EU is to remain in force until the parliamentary elections in 2017. It is supplemented by the annual work programmes for EU–EEA matters.

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source MFA, Norway

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