Knut Eiliv Lein, the Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria says Norway remains committed to promoting human rights in Nigeria.
Lein said that part of his goals during his tenure include focusing mainly on humanitarian efforts and sustainable development goals in the Northeast.
According to him, apart from engaging Nigeria at a multilateral level, it is important that Norway and Nigeria also work at a bilateral level as well, especially where it comes to regional stability.
“Under this umbrella, we have a corporation for the fight against terrorism, promotion of maritime security and the advancement of the women, peace and security agenda where we engage Nigeria,” the Norwegian envoy stated when speaking to HumAngle on Friday.
“This includes looking into United Nations (UN) mandates in Mali (MINUSMA), Congo, Sudan and other countries as well.”
He also mentioned how important Norway considered all human rights issues as well as law-based order around the world.
Lein added that conflict prevention also remained a top priority as well and he plans to use his experience working in conflict regions such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and applying it to the ongoing crisis in North-eastern Nigeria.
“Norway has a long history of conflict prevention, whether it be dialogues on the local level or on bigger scale peace mediation such as in Colombia, the Middle East and other parts of the world,” he said.
“My experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, are all complex crises in different ways. In some places, there are strong governments you can work with, Syria for example doesn’t have that in place.
“Nigeria is its own country with its own government, problems and challenges. It is a new country and a new setting for me. With my previous experience in crisis prevention, dialogue and humanitarian efforts, I’ll be applying those tools to a new country and new people.”
Norway also spent close to $17 million on humanitarian efforts in Nigeria this year, though Lein said none of the funds went through the government, but through NGOs and the UN system, specifically targeting those in need.
“We partner with a lot of organisations such as the UN particularly in the Northeast on health, food security, democracy, gender equality and a lot more. Our other humanitarian efforts outside the Northeast include the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel, which are also very important areas requiring assistance.
“We are putting money into partners that we trust and do the best we can to follow up and see the implementation in the field,” he added.