GA: Countering Nuclear Terrorism

9/28/2012 // State Secretary Ms. Gry Larsens statement during "The Secretary General’s High-Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism, with a Specific Focus on Strengthening the Legal Framework" on Septemeber 28th 2012.

Mr. President, 

I would like to thank the Secretary General for convening this meeting and for his efforts to strengthening the legal framework on countering nuclear terrorism.

The threat of nuclear material getting into the hands of terrorists remains. And the consequence of its possible use in a terrorist attack is of grave concern.

The United Nations plays an important role in promoting increased international cooperation on countering nuclear terrorism, as well as providing a legal framework for these efforts.

Nevertheless, it is a national responsibility to establish necessary legislation and safeguards for nuclear security.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism entered into force in 2007.

During the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul this March, Prime Minister Stoltenberg announced that Norway will ratify the convention this year. And we urge other countries to do the same.

Norway supports the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 that calls upon Member States to ensure that non-State actors do not gain access to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and we provide funding through the UN Office for Disarmament to ensure full implementation of the resolution.

While the commitment to nuclear security has been confirmed at the highest political level, there is slow progress in adherence to the important 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Norway calls upon all states to sign and ratify the global conventions on nuclear security and to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in their implementation.

The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is the cornerstone of UN counter-terrorism efforts.

The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force is tasked to coordinate UN system-wide efforts in implementing the strategy, including through the working group on Preventing and Responding to WMD Terrorist Attacks.

The IAEA plays a central role in strengthening the international nuclear security framework as well as assisting member states in their national efforts. We must ensure that the IAEA is given the necessary resources to fulfill its tasks.

Norway also supports nuclear security through international forums such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Nuclear terrorism and security cannot be dealt with in isolation.

There is a clear connection between nuclear security, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Fewer nuclear weapons will mean greater nuclear security – and less risk of proliferation. And this is clearly good security policy.

A nuclear detonation, whether caused by an intentional act by a state actor, an accident or a terrorist attack, will have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

To explore this issue further, Norway will host a conference on the impact of nuclear weapon detonations, whatever their cause, in March next year.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, it is our collective responsibility to provide the necessary international framework to ensure the safe handling of nuclear material, and to prevent such materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

I firmly believe that sustained international cooperation and stronger commitment from member states on countering nuclear terrorism are still very necessary – as is effective and efficient United Nations system-wide efforts. 

Thank you.


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