The statement was held in 1st Committe on October 20th in " Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons", and went as follows:
Anti-personnel mines, unexploded ordenance and the proliferation of illicit small arms pose a challenge to human security. This challenge must be dealt with in multilateral fora, and receive a multilateral response.
The UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons is part of our collective response. Its full implementation is an urgent and important task. Next year´s Biennial Meeting will provide an opportunity to consider the national, regional and global steps taken to implement the Programme.
Norway supports the work of the open-ended working group on marking and tracing of small arms and light weapons, and appreciate highly the efforts of its chair, Amb. Thalman from Switzerland. We hope for a successful outcome of the negotiations of an international instrument, and will continue to contribute to that objective. Norway believes that that we should aim for a legally binding instrument.
Illicit brokering of small arms is a key concern. Brokering remains largely unregulated, as only about twenty countries worldwide have legislation in this area. To prevent illicit brokering; legitimate, licit activities in this area need to be regulated. Under the Dutch-Norwegian initiative on illicit brokering, we and the Netherlands work together with regional organisations to help countries establish such legislation. We believe regional organisations also have an important role to play in the international co-operation that is necessary for implementing laws that regulate small arms brokering.
Norway considers it important and timely to go ahead and examine closer whether there is a need for an international instrument on brokering. Consultations carried out by the SG since the last session of this Committee, on the basis of last year´s resolution, show that the issue is relevant. We hope that we can reach an agreement on starting such work soon, and reflect that in this year´s omnibus resolution on small arms and light weapons.
Effective systems for information on and verification of end-users and end-use of small arms is essential to control not only brokering, but all aspects of illicit trade in small arms. This issue also figures in the UN Programme of Action. Time is ripe for consultation among States on how to establish systems for end-user certificates.
It is our hope that we will be able to report on good progress on these and more areas to next year´s Biennual Meeting, and agree on further steps at the Review Conference that will take place in 2006.
The easy availability and mobility of Man-portable air defence systems – MANPADS – make this weapon ideal for terrorists and other non-state actors. The illicit transfer of MANPADS pose a real threat to civil aviation, and constitutes a grave security concern. The draft resolution presented by Australia is timely and welcome, and enjoys our full support.
The Mine Ban Convention is a success. Every day, its implementation strengthens human security and reduces humanitarian risk for civil populations. However, landmines still threaten the life and well-being of people in all regions of the world. It is a real and serious obstacle to return, reconstruction, development and normalisation. It is possible to rid the world of this threat. That is the aim of the Convention. Next month, the first Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention will take place in Nairobi. At the Nairobi Summit, we must recommit to finishing the job, and decide how to address remaining challenges; to universalise the Convention, destroy stockpiles, clear mines and assist victims.
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has been strengthened with a new legally binding protocol on Explosive Remnants of War. Hopefully, this new instrument will be ratified swiftly, so that it can enter into force soon and enhance safety of people on the ground. To further reduce the humanitarian risk caused by the use of certain munitions, the next logical step is to develop an instrument on measures that prevent munitions from becoming explosive remnants of war. We are actively engaged in the Group of governmental experts, which considers the implementation of principles of international humanitarian law, and the design of certain munitions and sub-munitions. We look forward to continuing these important discussions.