Norway welcomes the initiative by the presidency of the UN Security Council to address nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The spectre for nuclear war constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Norway fully subscribes to the overall political objective of creating a safer world without nuclear weapons.
Norway considers the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to be the main avenue for achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons. This Treaty has been a cornerstone of collective security for nearly 40 years, but it is under growing strain. The Review Conference next year will be crucial to reasserting the authority and legitimacy of the NPT.
Norway supports a comprehensive and balanced approach between the three pillars of the NPT; disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses. Full nuclear disarmament can only be achieved if it is accompanied by confidence in compliance with the non-proliferation regime. At the same time, measures aimed at creating a robust non-proliferation regime will be greatly facilitated by an unequivocal and irreversible process towards the full elimination of existing nuclear arsenals. A strengthened non-proliferation regime must at the same time facilitate peaceful uses of nuclear energy and other civilian nuclear applications.
Nuclear disarmament is a fundamental pillar of the NPT. The overall objective of the NPT, as set out in the preamble and not least in Article VI, is to achieve the total elimination of nuclear arsenals. This commitment was further strengthened by the outcomes of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and the 2000 Review Conference. While reaffirming these commitments, Norway in particular advocates:
• Continued reductions in nuclear arsenals. The negotiations between the United States and the Russian Federation should be the beginning of a comprehensive and irreversible disarmament process covering all types of nuclear weapons and should eventually be extended to include other nuclear weapon states.
• 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.
• Efforts to gradually bring existing stocks of fissile materials under IAEA safeguards with a view to conversion for civilian purposes or destruction.
• Urgent steps to reduce the security policy role of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons free zones and negative security assurances reduce the geographical scope of nuclear arms.
• A lowering of the operational status of deployed weapons in order to prevent accidental launches and to allow decision-makers more time in crisis situations.
• Efforts to enhance transparency of existing stocks of nuclear weapons and of disarmament efforts. Ways of enabling non-nuclear weapons states to verify nuclear disarmament in accordance with the non-proliferation obligations of the NPT should be developed.
• That no political status be accorded to the possession of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security are essential for maintaining international peace and stability. Non-proliferation is a prerequisite for achieving our goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. The NPT has established a fundamental norm by emphasising verification and confidence-building. New security threats make it all the more imperative to strengthen the non-proliferation dimension of the NPT. Norway in particular advocates:
• Continued efforts to solve politically outstanding proliferation matters, such as those posed by the DPRK and Iran, on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
• Providing the IAEA with the necessary political and financial support to carry out its crucial task of administering international safeguards to ensure that nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is not diverted to nuclear weapons programmes. The IAEA should be equipped with advanced technologies to improve its data collection and further develop its cooperation network with qualified laboratories.
• Urging those countries that have not done so to ratify and implement the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol without delay.
• Further progress in the area of an international nuclear fuel cycle and the establishment of a fuel bank under IAEA auspices.
• Full implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) as well as subsequent follow-up resolutions.
• Recognition of the importance of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) as well as the G8 Global Partnership against the spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
• Universal adherence to the Convention on Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the revised Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as well as relevant IAEA codes of conduct and guidelines on nuclear security.
• Provision of financial resources to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund.
• Support for voluntary cooperation on conversion from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium in civilian nuclear reactors, with a view in the long term to establishing a norm against using HEU in the civilian sector.
Peaceful uses of nuclear energy
Norway fully supports the inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy as stipulated in Article IV of the NPT and in conformity with Articles I, II and III of the Treaty. Civilian nuclear applications are not only limited to nuclear energy, and are relevant in the health sector, in agriculture, water management and environmental monitoring. Peaceful nuclear applications represent an important contribution to our joint efforts to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals. However, it is vital that peaceful uses of nuclear technology do not undermine non-proliferation efforts, nuclear security or safety. Norway therefore advocates:
• Efforts towards 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.
• Full adherence to relevant IAEA nuclear safety instruments, and efforts to ensure that the Agency provides essential assistance and expertise to assist member states in implementing their safety obligations.
• Efforts to ensure predictable and sufficient funding for safety activities of the IAEA.
• Increased funding for the IAEA’s technical cooperation programmes with developing countries for peaceful nuclear applications.
Sustaining the NPT
Norway calls for universal adherence to the NPT. Countries that have not yet done so are urged to sign and ratify the Treaty as non-nuclear weapons states, and to place their nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards.
Norway encourages further efforts to create a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the Middle East, in accordance with the Middle East resolution adopted at the NPT 1995 Review and Extension Conference.
Withdrawal from the NPT would represent a serious challenge to international security. Such cases would have to be addressed by the UN Security Council. Measures to discourage any withdrawal from the NPT should be considered urgently.
The primary task of the 2010 Review Conference is to revive a broad-based, common understanding on how to address the nuclear threat, and to ensure that peaceful applications of nuclear energy are not diverted for weapons purposes. The Review Conference should agree on a programme of work up to 2015, and on steps to be taken beyond that year. The Conference should also reach agreement on a strengthened Review Process.