Thank you very much for convening this important event. Special thanks to Kazakhstan, who sponsored the UN General Assembly resolution eight years ago declaring August 29 as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has set a fundamental norm against nuclear testing and is a centerpiece of the global arms control and non-proliferation regime. The CTBT is an indispensable instrument to avoid a new armament race and to reach the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
However, more than twenty years after its inception the CTBT has still not entered into force. No norm or self-imposed moratorium can substitute a comprehensive, universally binding legal agreement. The eight states that need to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force have a special responsibility. Norway urges these states to ratify without delay.
We cannot take the norm against testing for granted. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea repeated nuclear tests are seriously challenging the norm. We reiterate our deep concern with DPRK’s nuclear weapons and missile program. We have, on a number of occasions, condemned DPRK’s violations of international law and relevant Security Council Resolution.
The DPRK’s nuclear and missile tests threaten peace and stability both in the region and globally, and are making it even more difficult to find diplomatic solutions to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK’s actions are undermining the international norm against testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and are creating new obstacles in the efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
We have no time to lose in putting an end to nuclear testing through a verifiable, legally binding manner through the CTBT.