Norway increases funding to promote freedom of expression and cultural rights

Norway has reached a new agreement with UNESCO to provide NOK 200 million to support efforts to promote freedom of expression, artistic freedom and world heritage. The agreement was signed on the UN Day 24 October.

“Protecting journalists and cultural practitioners and their work is extremely important at a time when freedom of expression and cultural rights are under pressure in many countries. In Ukraine, for example, we see the importance of UNESCO’s efforts to protect press freedom as well as artistic expression and cultural heritage”’, said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt in a press release by the government.

Norway has a strong commitment to UNESCO. In 2021 it was the third largest donor of voluntary contribution to the organization. It is now known that the country will maintain its generous contribution with the new agreement’s duration being for the period 2022-2025.

Audrey Azoulay
Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay is grateful for Norway’s commitment to promote peace and human rights in the world. Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Thanks Norway for its support

“On UN day, UNESCO and Norway signed a new four-year agreement. I thank Norway for its support, which is more necessary than ever to promote peace and human rights in the world through heritage, artistic freedom, freedom of expression and safety of journalists”, said Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay.

The new agreement includes, among other things, an increase of NOK 3 million annually for UNESCO’s efforts to safeguard freedom of expression and information through the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists.

UNESCO plays a key role in documenting and preventing attacks against journalists and combating impunity, in line with the UN Action Plan on the Safety and Impunity of Journalists and UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 to ensure public access to information and protecting fundamental freedom.

Angkor Wat
Parts of the increased funding will go to the World Heritage Fund which may fund UNESCO World Heritage sites under certain conditions. Pictured is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Photo: Vicky T/Unsplash

Significant parts of the funding will also go to the World Heritage Fund, the Heritage Emergency Fund, the  UNESCO-Aschberg programme for artists and cultural professionals and the International Programme for the Development of Communication.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is an agency of the United Nations established in 1945 in order to contribute to building peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences and culture. The organization focuses on reaching its goals through promoting the exchange of knowledge and the free flow of ideas to accelerate mutual understanding and a better understanding of each other’s lives.

The Norwegian government also announced increasing its support to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the UN Day 24 October.

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