The overall objective of the NPT is to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons. Under Article VI, parties to the NPT undertake to pursue negotiations on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. This objective has been reaffirmed and further elaborated in the outcome documents of various NPT review conferences. It is clearly reflected in the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear-weapon states to achieve the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
The NPT recognises that nuclear disarmament must be pursued in accordance with the principle of undiminished security for all. Furthermore, all states have a responsibility to contribute to the goal of global zero.
Norway fully shares the view of the UN Secretary-General, as expressed in his Agenda for Disarmament, that ‘[a]ll States must work together to achieve concrete and irreversible steps to prepare for a world free of nuclear weapons, including by making the nuclear test ban permanent, developing approaches for nuclear disarmament verification and ending the production of fissile material for use in weapons.’
There are promising efforts under way. On 12 April, the Group of Governmental Experts on Nuclear Disarmament Verification agreed on a consensus report. The report will soon be submitted to the UN Secretary-General, circulated to all UN member states for their consideration, and put on the agenda of the First Committee this autumn. As chair, Norway wishes to extend its gratitude to all the 25 experts participating in the group and for their readiness to engage in constructive discussions with a view to a common understanding.
We would like to commend Canada, Germany and the Netherlands for the leadership they have shown in pursuing the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). In Norway’s view, the next step is now to negotiate and conclude the FMCT.
We continue to call on all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, in particular the remaining eight Annex 2 states whose ratifications are needed for the CTBT to enter into force.
As outlined in the Nordic statement at the General debate, Norway advocates a forward-looking agenda for the 2020 Review Conference, covering all three pillars of the NPT. This includes:
- Pursuing measures to reduce the risk of accidental use of nuclear weapons. The fact-based approach to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear detonations could inspire this work.
- Strengthening confidence-building measures, including efforts to enhance transparency on the part of nuclear-weapon states.
- Strengthening negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states.
- Addressing the issue of non-strategic nuclear weapons.
- Establishing nuclear-weapons-free zones that are freely agreed on by the countries concerned. This is essential, including in the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr Chair.