Norway: Foreign Service continues reallocation efforts – Closure of two diplomatic missions

Norway: Foreign Service continues reallocation efforts – Closure of two diplomatic missions

Norway: Foreign Service continues reallocation efforts – Closure of two diplomatic missions

Norway: Foreign Service continues reallocation efforts – Closure of two diplomatic missions

The Norwegian Embassy Kampala, Uganda, and the Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, are to be closed. At the same time, the number of diplomatic staff at selected other embassies will be increased.

The missions will be closed in 2024. The diplomat positions from these two missions will be redirected to increase staffing at other Norwegian diplomatic and consular missions.

‘In a rapidly changing world, it is essential for us to have diplomats in the places where they can monitor global issues that have implications for Norway and promote Norwegian positions. At the same time, we must continually assess where it is best to maintain a presence in order to safeguard Norwegian interests optimally with the resources we have,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt. 

The Foreign Service’s resources are reallocated as part of a larger process in which the organisation of the foreign service is being assessed and adapted to best safeguard Norwegian foreign and development policy priorities. Norway will have fewer, but more robust foreign service missions. More diplomatic staff will be posted to the Norwegian Embassies in Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa and Nairobi in order to strengthen efforts in priority areas such as food security, business development and regional security in Africa. The Embassy in Beirut will be given a new diplomatic position dedicated to working with aid to Syria.

‘The decision to close a foreign service mission obviously has an impact on our employees. We will take steps to ensure that the needs and rights of all staff members affected by the closures are adequately safeguarded. But we have a responsibility to use our resources as effectively as possible. There is now a need to increase staffing at multiple missions, and unfortunately that means that we have to close down missions in other places,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

Continued diplomatic representation

The Norwegian Embassy in Kampala is responsible for representing Norway in Burundi and Rwanda. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now working on solutions to safeguard Norway’s diplomatic representation in these countries once the Embassy in Kampala is closed.

Starting in 2024, the Norwegian Embassy in Beijing and the General Consulate in Shanghai will be responsible for tasks currently carried out by the Consulate General in Guangzhou.

Development cooperation with Uganda to continue

Norway provides substantial aid to Uganda. In 2022, Uganda received NOK 382 million in earmarked funds from Norway for efforts in priority areas such as civil society, education, energy, refugees and women’s rights. The closure of the Embassy in Kampala does not mean that Norwegian aid to the country will be discontinued, or that there will be less focus on the rights of women and minorities. The decision has been taken based on an assessment of the Foreign Service’s overall resources.

‘Norway will continue to invest significantly in development cooperation with Uganda through its civil society partners and multilateral organisations. We will also maintain our engagement in promoting human rights in the country, particularly the rights of women and minorities,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.