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C1: Conventional Weapons

Statement by Special Envoy for Disarmament Affairs Jørn Osmundsen on conventional weapons in First Committee, 24 October 2019.

| First Committee

Mr Chair,

In many countries, conventional arms are the real weapons of mass destruction. Our response must be to intensify global efforts to combat irresponsible and illegal trade, and use, of such weapons - including ammunition.

Norway is a firm supporter of the Arms Trade Treaty. It has great potential to reduce the human suffering and gender based violence that results from armed violence. We urge all countries that have not yet done so to accede to the Arms Trade Treaty and to ratify it.

Norway will continue to engage actively in the exchange of export control best practices in the working groups of the ATT, and to support capacity-building through financial contributions to ATT´s Voluntary Trust Fund. 

 

Mr Chair,

Norway holds the presidency of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, and will host the Fourth Review Conference in Oslo next month. We see a need to increase progress in clearance of landmines and ensure that that the use of improvised landmines is addressed within the Convention. There is a need to strengthen mine risk education and prevention measures for at-risk populations, and integrate a gender perspective in all aspects of mine action.

At the Review Conference, we will ask states parties to renew their political commitment to all aspects of the Mine Ban Convention.

 

Mr Chair,

It was the indiscriminate impact of anti-personnel mines that provided the impetus for the Mine Ban Convention.

Urban warfare witnesses the same indiscriminate use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas in recent conflicts. This has enormous consequences for human life and critical urban infrastructure. It is an issue of protection, of proportionality, and of compliance with international humanitarian law.

We welcome the initiative by Austria to discuss a political declaration to enhance protection of civilians. 

Thank you.