Changes in Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will increase its diplomatic presence in a number of countries in 2011, for example in Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and Russia. In order to free resources for these new missions, five missions will be closed, and there will be staff reductions at some other missions next year.

“We are seeing a shift in economic and political power towards the south and the east, and especially towards Asia, which is gaining a more prominent role. This is having consequences for Norwegian interests. I have therefore decided to increase Norway’s diplomatic presence in these regions.

“In order to give priority to these new missions, we are also making changes in other countries. I believe this will enable us to promote Norwegian interests more effectively in a changing world and to make more efficient use of the foreign service’s resources. The changes that are now being made are part of an ongoing process that will be continued in 2012–2013.

“Over the last few years, the Ministry has examined, in collaboration with national and international expertise, the opportunities and challenges a globalised world represents for Norway. The changes we are now making are a result of this work. We must consider on an ongoing basis where our diplomatic resources and presence are most needed,” said Mr Støre.

In the course of 2011, the Ministry will make the following changes to Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad.

Five missions will be closed: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Bogotá (Colombia), Dili (East Timor), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Managua (Nicaragua). Norwegian interests in these countries will be taken care of by other missions in the regions concerned. In the case of West Africa, the possibility of establishing a new mission in Accra (Ghana) is being considered.

Norway will continue to have a presence in Antananarivo (Madagascar), but will reduce the staff at the embassy and make it into an embassy office connected to another mission in the region. The Embassy in Brussels with responsibility for relations with Belgium will be maintained but with a reduced staff. There will also be staff reductions at other missions, for example in the other Nordic countries and other European countries. The arrangement with an Oslo-based Ambassador for the Caribbean will be discontinued, and responsibility for these countries will be transferred to the Embassy in Havana (Cuba).

These changes to Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad will be implemented in the course of 2011.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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