At the second donors’ meeting on Good Humanitarian Donorship held in Ottawa last month, Norway expressed resentment and reservations about the on-going process of improving international emergency aid. Norway proposed to dismantle a key Geneva-based donor group that is pushing forward efforts to harmonise and reform humanitarian assistance.
In the context of the upcoming five-year evaluation of the Millenium Development Goals, the five Nordic governments and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) are moving to strengthen the focus on the 900 million people living in rural poverty.
Since Danish Minister for Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs Bertel Haarder added the development portfolio to his title in August, he has wasted no time in directing more aid funds to improving the situation of refugees and internally displaced people in their regions of origin.
Måns Nyberg, Senior Regional Public Information Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Stockholm office, tells Development Today that the idea of a global fund for refugee repatriation is so new that his organisation has not officially taken a stand on it.
The Norwegian government has expressed the intention to export its prestigious primary school religion curriculum as a tool in the fight against terror. Doubt has now been cast on these plans following a ruling by the UN Human Rights Committee that the curriculum violates Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which deals with freedom of religion.
The Norwegian Sissel Ekaas has been appointed Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ekaas has since 1998 served as Director in the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO).