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Gahr Støre: – An important political signal


On the GATS negotiations (negotiations on trade in services), Foreign Minister Gahr Støre said this in the Storting on 9 September:

In the Government's assessment, Norwegian interests are well taken care of. But we also have a responsibility to clarify our willingness to support developing countries' opportunities to develop their own economies and the basis for their own service sector, public and private. On this basis, and in accordance with the Soria Moria Declaration, the Government has reviewed Norwegian positions in the service negotiations, including an assessment of the requirements Norway has set for developing countries.

It is a general opinion in the negotiations that LDC is not expected to take on obligations. Norway has therefore decided not to pursue claims submitted to LDCs. In order to further clarify our positions, the Government has decided that in addition it will be communicated directly to the countries in which Norway withdraws its requirements.

In assessing Norwegian requirements for developing countries, a thorough weighing of developing countries' interests and Norwegian offensive interests has been used. The Government has emphasized that Norway should not promote requirements that can be perceived as potential obstacles to the development of public services by developing countries. On this basis, the Government has decided to impose requirements on other developing countries in terms of power distribution, water supply and higher education.

This is an important political signal. "

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