Opposition mostly positive to Stoltenberg’s UN speech / News / The Foreigner

Opposition mostly positive to Stoltenberg’s UN speech. Labour (Ap) Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s speech to the UN about foreign aid has been relatively positively received by two of the Opposition Parties. One of the others alleges he was discriminatory. Stoltenberg said he believes poor countries must administer themselves. “Developing nations must fight corruption, develop good and efficient systems of taxation and use their own resources to combat poverty.”

jens, stoltenberg, un, meeting, speech, prime, minister, norway, siv, jensen, frp, progress, erna, solberg, conservative, hoeyre, inger, lise, hansen, kfr, christian, democratic, party



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Opposition mostly positive to Stoltenberg’s UN speech

Published on Thursday, 23rd September, 2010 at 10:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 23rd September 2010 at 13:25.

Labour (Ap) Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s speech to the UN about foreign aid has been relatively positively received by two of the Opposition Parties. One of the others alleges he was discriminatory.

Stoltenberg and Solheim on way to UN
Stoltenberg and Solheim on way to UN
Photo: Trond Viken/MFA


Changes

Stoltenberg said he believes poor countries must administer themselves.

“Developing nations must fight corruption, develop good and efficient systems of taxation and use their own resources to combat poverty.”

Conservative Party (H) Leader Erna Solberg tells The Foreigner she agrees with the Prime Minister’s requirements.

“Mr Stoltenberg’s demands about criteria are going in the right direction. We have to have less corruption.”

Solberg gives Uganda as an example of a country where things are not working as they should.

Norway gave the country approximately 430 million kroner in aid last year, but a Ugandan court froze close to 10 million after a contract dispute between a local firm and forestry authorities uncovered serious fraud.

Solberg says the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs (Utenrikskommiteen) has asked why Norway still sends money to the country.

“If development aid is going to function in a society, one has to be able to see a government that is working towards economic growth, a transparent economic situation, and to see how funds are allocated in a society,” she says.

She thinks change is required to be able to meet Stoltenberg’s demands.

“The Conservative Party has raised these issues earlier. We have said very clearly that for aid to work, a country’s national policy has to be a developmental policy. We are happy Mr Stoltenberg is at least talking about it, but he now should do something.”

Discrimination and generalisation

Inger Lise Hansen, Deputy Leader of the Christian Democratic Party (KrF), was also positive to the Prime Minister’s views, but alleges his suggestions discriminate against some countries.

“The developing countries certainly must be held accountable for how they spend aid money. However, what Jens Stoltenberg seems to be suggesting is that countries are only worthy of receiving aid if they share a specific ideology, namely the social democratic one, as far as tax policies are concerned. Foreign aid should not be politicized,” she writes in a statement.

Hansen criticises Stoltenberg for generalising, and claims he omitted key points in his speech.

“Developing countries are not alike, and their challenges and opportunities as nations are quite varied. It is in my opinion a systemic error not to treat them as such and to make the kind of generalizations Mr Stoltenberg did in his speech to the UN. What he did not mention is the responsibility of wealthy countries to make development possible through trade and investments”

Doubts

Siv Jensen, Leader of the Progress Party (FrP) tells The Foreigner she was pleased with what he said, but had some reservations.

“Jens Stoltenberg said some sensible stuff. The problem is it is not government policy”.

Although Jensen agrees with Stoltenberg’s declarations, she says they reminded her of measures FrP has already called for, but never succeeded in convincing others to put in action.

“FrP has been campaigning about opening up for more free trade, transparency, and economic growth for decades. However, every time we open up for this sort of debate we are accused of not taking poor countries into consideration, and that we don’t care.”

She goes on to say she would rather adopt a wait-and-see approach, especially because the government will be releasing next year’s national budget in only a few weeks.

“I think it is great if he wants to open up for these sorts of things, but I do not believe he does.”




Published on Thursday, 23rd September, 2010 at 10:39 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 23rd September 2010 at 13:25.

This post has the following tags: jens, stoltenberg, un, meeting, speech, prime, minister, norway, siv, jensen, frp, progress, erna, solberg, conservative, hoeyre, inger, lise, hansen, kfr, christian, democratic, party.





  
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