H.E. Mr. Johan L. Løvald
New York 22 April 2004.
Let me first echo other delegations in thanking you for organising this open meeting of the Security Council to consider the draft resolution on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). We appreciate that all member states are being given an opportunity to present their views before the Council takes action on the resolution.
We welcome that the Security Council is addressing the dangers posed by the proliferation of WMD. At the same time, the UN General Assembly has an important role to play in all non-proliferation efforts.
I would now like to offer some views on the draft resolution.
Firstly, Norway agrees that the Security Council should adopt a resolution addressing the most pressing proliferation challenges. The proliferation of WMD is a threat to international peace and stability. We need a clear message from the Security Council that taking part in proliferation of WMD constitutes a serious criminal offence.
Secondly, the draft resolution places far-reaching and legally binding demands on all member states of the UN. It is vital that all states should take the necessary steps to make sure that they can live up to their multilateral non-proliferation obligations. These steps should cover areas such as national legislation, law enforcement, export controls, border controls and protection of sensitive materials.
Thirdly, the present draft resolution emphasises the role and relevance of the global disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. This is an element to which Norway attaches particular importance. The global treaties have set universal norms, which should be adhered to by all UN member states. We call for the full universalisation of and compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.
The international community must preserve the integrity and authority of the global treaties and work to further strengthen these instruments. We need credible verification mechanisms. The NPT is a cornerstone of our collective security. The upcoming Review Conference must be used to further strengthen the Treaty.
Fourthly, we agree as stated in the draft resolution that there is a need for further dialogue and co-operation on non-proliferation issues as well as co-operative action to prevent illicit trafficking in WMD means of delivery. The Proliferation Security Initiative represents a very useful response to the new proliferation challenges. Norway is taking an active part in this Initiative. We will also continue to contribute to the G8 Global Partnership, particularly in so far as safe handling and storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is concerned. Let me further reiterate Norway’s support for the EU strategy against the proliferation of WMD.
Fifthly, Norway welcomes the proposal to set up a committee tasked with making sure that the new resolution is fully implemented. Such a committee should be given enough time to do its work properly. We assume that all relevant expertise will be mobilised in this endeavour.
Non-proliferation and disarmament are two sides of the same coin. The irreversible destruction of stockpiles of WMDs is the best guarantee that such weapons do not fall in the wrong hands. Norway is therefore convinced that disarmament must remain an integral component of an effective non-proliferation strategy. This element should be duly reflected in the resolution to be adopted by the Security Council.
In concluding, Norway agrees that the Security Council should adopt a resolution that will fill critical gaps in the international non-proliferation efforts. We hope the resolution will be adopted in a timely manner.