Government cuts budget for peace work, despite peace agreement successes

Ministry of Foreign AffairsMinistry of Foreign Affairs.Photo: Norway Today Media

Over a period of just a few days   peace agreements have been signed both for Colombia and the Philippines, and Norway has been involved in both.

But the budgets for peace work are being cut  at home.
Last year cut government nearly 40 percent in the money set aside   for peace and reconciliation work in the  budget, the newspaper Dagsavisen writes.
This is dramatic,  Henrik Thune, who is deputy head of NOREF, Norwegian Centre for Peacebuilding, says.

– In a world characterized by high levels of instability,  investment in peace and reconciliation is  valuable for Norwegian foreign policy, he said.

Professor Benedicte Bull at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo believe it would have been difficult for Norway to play an important part in the peace process in Colombia if the cuts had come earlier, and historian Ada Nissen thinks the cuts fit poorly with Norway’s image as peacemaker.

– The cuts in peace and reconciliation does fit with the image Brende like to give outsiders that this is something Norway will focus on,  Claus says to Dagsavisen.

State Secretary  at the Foreign Ministry, Tone Hattrem, said that the part Norway has played  as a facilitator between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government has been due to its work and effort in building networks and forming connections with and between the parties in the conflict, rather than because of budget size.

Ahe also insists, in a message   faciliated by her communications adviser   that the government will continue to give priority to peace efforts in Colombia and has allocated substantial resources to this.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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