Since Norway has aligned itself with the EU statement, I would like to focus my intervention on steps to further improve the working methods of the First Committee.
We consider it essential that the UN General Assembly plays a prominent role in promoting disarmament and non-proliferation.
There have been improvements in the working methods of the First Committee. The large number of statements on the nuclear test of the DPRK, including your own Md. Chair, the resolution on an ATT, and on regional security issues, shows that the Committee responds to new challenges. Yet, we believe that more could be done to further enhance the relevance of our Committee. Let me highlight some aspects:
• While there have been an overwhelming number of statements in our deliberations, we need to devote more time to interactive debates. Dialogue should to a larger extent be focused on resolutions and decisions on which we are to take action. Open-ended consultations are crucial to promoting transparency and for advancing common understanding of, and responses to current security challenges.
• We recognize that it is difficult to have in depth discussions on more than fifty resolutions. That is why we continue to advocate that the Committee should, to the extent possible, deal with fewer resolutions. Our point of departure must be that any resolution adopted by the General Assembly remains valid until otherwise decided.
• We also need to discuss the follow-up of resolutions. Again – the sheer number of resolutions makes effective follow-up difficult. The dismal reporting record by member states to the DDA certainly underlines the need for streamlining the reporting procedures and take a critical view on the added value, when requesting further reporting. In addition we could on some resolutions, ask the UN Secretariat to provide more of an analytical assessment of the responses from member states.
• The panel discussions on the various clusters have clearly demonstrated the value of involving external experts in our work. We also consider the NGO segment a very useful contribution. We are convinced that our debates benefit from even more contributions by the civil society, and we do not think that such involvement would undermine the intergovernmental character of the First Committee.