Friday 30 June the Norwegian Government submitted a report to the Storting that explores the many challenges related to disarmament, and gives an overview of Norway’s positions and initiatives in this area. This is the first time since the end of the Cold War that the Storting has been presented with a separate white paper on these matters.
“There are major challenges in the field of arms control, in both the nuclear and the conventional area,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. “The number of nuclear-weapon states has increased since the end of the Cold War. New countries and groups, including terrorist organisations, are attempting to acquire such weapons. The use of civilian nuclear technology is on the rise. This technology can also be used to develop nuclear weapons. We see signs of increasing international tension and stockpiling of weapons. In the white paper, the Government outlines measures aimed at addressing these serious challenges.”
“Uncontrolled use of, and trade in, small arms and light weapons are jeopardising peacebuilding, conflict resolution and development. The Government will promote stricter international regulation of the trade in such weapons,” said Mr. Støre.
“Our aim is to strengthen Norway’s role as an active promoter of arms control and disarmament, as regards nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons. The Government’s policy is based on the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, in line with the Government policy platform,” the Foreign Minister continued.
“The Government considers it particularly important that conventional weapons that cause unacceptable humanitarian harm are taken out of use. The Mine Ban Convention and the agreement reached last week on an international ban on cluster munitions are examples of major successes in this connection,” Foreign Minister Støre added.