Norway is pleased to co-sponsor the draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). My government attaches great importance to the IAEA. Besides being a key guardian of our collective non-proliferation regime, the IAEA is an important partner in promoting social and economic development while ensuring the safety and security of peaceful nuclear programs. Through its extensive technical cooperation program, the Agency plays an important role in contributing towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are closely inter-linked. We cannot achieve the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons as set out by the NPT, unless there is confidence in the integrity of the non-proliferation regime. It is therefore vital that we provide the Agency with the necessary legal tools to implement its non-proliferation mandate. Norway therefore reiterates that the IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreements and the Additional Protocol should constitute the verification standard. Norway also remains convinced that the IAEA has an important role to play in verifying nuclear disarmament.
Norway continues to urge countries with outstanding proliferation issues to fully cooperate with the Agency in resolving these matters and in demonstrating the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear programs.
Achieving a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East is an important goal both from a regional point of view and to reinforce the global non-proliferation regime. Norway will chair the IAEA Forum on a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East which will be held in November in Vienna and believes the Forum will be a significant contribution from the IAEA towards this goal.
The NPT Review Conference in 2010 also underlined the importance of international cooperation with regards to peaceful use of nuclear energy. This year, events have shown again the critical importance of safety in relation to nuclear energy. The role of the IAEA would thus become even more crucial in the years to come. Likewise, we look forward to work closely with the Agency in promoting nuclear security.
Norway has provided substantial voluntary contributions to support IAEA’s work to strengthen nuclear safety and security in developing countries and to the establishment of a nuclear fuel bank. It is imperative that we, the member states, provide sufficient and predictable funding so that the Agency can carry out its important mandate. Equally important is that the international community demonstrates full political support to the IAEA. My delegation expects that today’s resolution will be adopted by consensus.