The unanimously adopted Resolution 1887 by the UN Security Council sent a strong message that proliferation of nuclear weapons constitutes a threat to international peace and security. It cannot be denied that nuclear weapons are the most inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Nuclear disarmament serves our common security and is important for preventing a severe humanitarian crisis.
Norway considers the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty to be the main avenue for achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Treaty has however been under growing strain. The NPT Review Conference in May 2010 will consequently be the world community’s opportunity to set a forward-looking agenda that in a comprehensive way ties together nuclear disarmament, the right to peaceful nuclear applications and the need to develop a robust non-proliferation regime which also addresses nuclear security.
If we are to move forward, we need to resolve politically current proliferation
challenges. Norway condemned the nuclear testing and the missile test carried out by the DPRK. We urge the DPRK to return to the Six parties negotiations without delay.
Norway has on a number of occasions urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with demands set by the international community, in order to reach a diplomatic outcome of the current nuclear dispute. We strongly hope that the ongoing consultations will facilitate the process of reaching such an outcome.
The overall objective of the NPT is to achieve the total elimination of nuclear arsenals. This requires concrete actions. Norway would in particular advocate some important measures in this regard:
• We need continued reductions in nuclear arsenals. We welcome the progress between the US and the Russian Federation on a START follow-on treaty. We consider this as a first step towards a comprehensive disarmament process involving all categories of nuclear weapons, and bringing in the other nuclear weapons states.
• We need to implement measures to prevent any potential new nuclear arms races. An entry into force of the Comprehensive Test ban treaty (CTBT) and an early negotiation of a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) should be given highest priority. We must make use of the window of opportunity to move forward with the CTBT. Likewise, we must now take advantage of the agreed program of work in the CD to swiftly negotiate a FMCT. In the meantime existing moratoria on test and production of fissile material for weapons purposes must be preserved and even strengthened. We must also provide support to the CTBTO in completing the International Monitoring System.
• Further efforts are required to bring existing stocks of fissile materials under IAEA safeguards with a view to conversion for civilian purposes or destruction. Indeed conversion of existing stocks will make considerable amount of fuel available for peaceful uses. There can be no doubt that addressing the issue of existing stocks will be a pre-condition for attaining full elimination of nuclear weapons. As a beginning, we could revisit the trilateral initiative between the US, Russia and the IAEA.
• Improvement of the transparency of existing stocks of nuclear weapons and of disarmament efforts is important. Reporting is not an option, but an obligation.
• We must also remove the status that may be associated with acquiring nuclear weapons, and reduce the security policy role of nuclear weapons. From our perspective, that would imply further efforts on de-alerting existing deployed weapons and consider ways to reduce salience of nuclear weapons in deterrence doctrines.
• We need to move forwards on regional nuclear weapon free zones and negative security assurances. My delegation welcomes the entry into force of the Pelindaba Treaty. Norway encourages all nuclear weapons states to sign and ratify relevant protocols. Likewise Norway reiterates its support for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the Middle East as laid out in the 1995 NPT resolution. Norway is ready to contribute towards this end.
Non-proliferation is a prerequisite for achieving our goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. In that regard Norway in particular advocates:
• The need for providing IAEA with the necessary political and financial support to carry out its crucial task of administering international safeguards.
• Universalisation of the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol, which Norway considers to constitute the verification norm.
• Full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 , as well as relevant instruments in the field of nuclear security. Norway welcomes the initiative by president Obama to convene a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next year.
• We must also ensure further progress in the area of an international fuel cycle and the establishment of a fuel bank under IAEA auspices.
• Recognition of that export controls support the NPT norm.
Norway fully supports the inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy as stipulated in Article IV of the NPT. It is however vital that peaceful uses of nuclear technology do not undermine non-proliferation efforts. Norway therefore underlines:
• The importance of reaching a common understanding on developing multilateral nuclear fuel cycle arrangements under IAEA guidance, which are proliferation resistant and take into account the concerns of developing countries.
• Further we need full adherence to relevant IAEA nuclear safety instruments, and efforts to ensure that the Agency provides essential assistance and expertise to member states in implementing their safety obligations
• An increased funding for the IAEA’s technical cooperation programs with developing countries is also essential in order ensure a more equitable access to peaceful nuclear applications.
While we now have a historic opportunity for pursuing the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, it is crucial that State Parties now mobilise the necessary political will to sustain and to further strengthen the authority and legitimacy of the NPT.
We must reaffirm the relevance of the three pillars of the NPT, and their close linkage. In doing so we must work in innovative ways. We must advocate cross regional cooperation and continue building broad partnerships. We must also ensure an active participation of the civil society to raise the public awareness and the support for the political measures needed to reach this goal.
We must ensure that the NPT Review Conference in 2010 produces a substantive and tangible outcome. The Review Conference should agree on a programme of work up to 2015, and on steps to be taken beyond that year. And, the NPT should also reach a strengthened Review Process that holds us accountable for fulfilling our commitments.