| First Committee

C1: General Debate

C1 General Debate - Photo:NorwayUN
Photo: NorwayUN.

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul in the General Debate of the First Committee, 11 October 2019.

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Chair,

Norway is fully committed to the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. This can only be achieved through the balanced, mutual, irreversible and verifiable elimination of these weapons.

The NPT remains the cornerstone of our efforts on disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses. Norway is working for full implementation of the NPT.

We welcome the US initiative Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament. We also underline the importance of promoting measures to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons being used.

Nuclear disarmament verification is important for making progress.

The Group of Governmental Experts on Nuclear Disarmament Verification agreed on a consensus report in April.

The Chair of the Group will present the report and the Group’s work to this Committee on 18 October.

One of the report’s conclusions is that verification is essential in the process of nuclear disarmament and for achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

To underpin our efforts in the UN, Norway remains strategically engaged in the Quad Nuclear Disarmament Verification Partnership and the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

More work is needed. Norway will therefore table a new resolution on nuclear disarmament verification. We seek the support of all member states for this resolution.

Chair,

Norway is advocating the rapid entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the negotiation and conclusion of a fissile material cut-off treaty.

The Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Additional Protocol constitute the global standard for verification, enabling the IAEA to ensure compliance with obligations under the NPT.

The DPRK's nuclear weapons and missile programmes remain unacceptable.

Only a political solution to the situation on the Korean peninsula will be sustainable. We stand firmly behind the UN Security Council resolutions on this matter.

The steps Iran has taken to reduce its commitments under the JCPOA are a source of great concern.

We urge Iran to reverse these steps and to cooperate fully and in a timely manner with the IAEA.

Chair,

We regret that the INF treaty has come to an end, due to Russian non-compliance.

We call on the US and Russia to extend and expand the New Start treaty.

Chair,

We remain deeply concerned about the continued possession of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

The report by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission on the incident in Douma concluded that an attack using chemical weapons had taken place.

We strongly support the work of the Investigation and Identification Team to establish who is responsible for this atrocity.

We are appalled by the recurrent use of chemical weapons in recent years. We reiterate our standpoint that any breach of the global non-use norm is unacceptable.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention remains a crucial pillar of the global disarmament architecture. We are concerned about the difficult financial situation for the Convention.

Chair,

Cyberspace is the backbone of our global infrastructure. Secure and stable digital networks are also a matter of global and national security.

Our dependence on digital technologies has created new vulnerabilities. We all face serious threats to our critical infrastructure, economies and democratic institutions.

We welcome the increased attention the UN is paying to these matters.

We must ensure that the Group of Governmental Experts and the Open-ended Working Group complement each other.

Both processes must build on the achievements of previous GGEs, and ensure our continued commitment to international peace and stability in a manner that guarantees the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Chair,

Norway is proud to hold the presidency of the Mine Ban Convention’s Fourth Review Conference.

Twenty years after its entry into force, the Convention continues to be an important tool for protecting people from landmines.

The Convention has established a strong norm, and a mine-free world by 2025 is our ambition.

We intend to use the Review Conference to draw renewed political attention to the Convention’s life-saving role, and we urge all states parties to contribute to a strong outcome.

We must combat all irresponsible and illegal trade in small arms and light weapons. The Arms Trade Treaty is gaining ground and has established fundamental norms for responsible trade.

Chair,

We underline the importance of including a gender perspective in all arms control efforts, and we have set a strong example during our presidency of the Mine Ban Convention.

Chair,

As an active and consistent partner working for our common future, Norway is pleased to chair the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC).

HCOC is a multilateral transparency and confidence building instrument concerning the spread of ballistic missiles.

140 countries have subscribed, and we work for the universalisation of the code.

Thank you.