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Norway assumes Chairmanship of the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

On Monday 3 June, Norway became the new Chair of the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).

‘Our Chairmanship of the Hague Code of Conduct is one element of Norway’s extensive engagement in non-proliferation and disarmament work. The Code is a politically binding cooperation and it is intended to build transparency concerning ballistic missile programmes and prevent the proliferation of missile technology. Transparency helps to prevent misunderstandings, for example by making sure that scientific launches are not mistaken for aggression against another state,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Countries that subscribe to the Code agree to submit an annual declaration of their policies on ballistic missiles and space activities and to provide pre-launch notifications, including notification of civilian space launches to put satellites into orbit. Transparency and the exchange of information are vital for preventing distrust and misunderstandings. The Code plays an important role in maintaining predictability and stability. Since it was adopted in 2002, the Code has been endorsed by a number of UN General Assembly resolutions.

Norway’s Chairmanship will be important in the run-up to the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York. Norway is also chairing the international work on nuclear disarmament verification, and will become a member of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency this autumn. Next summer, Norway will also become a member of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

‘There are now 140 countries that have subscribed to the Hague Code of Conduct. One of Norway’s priorities as Chair is to encourage more countries to participate. Subscribing to the Code is a way for countries that do not have missile programmes to demonstrate their support for international non-proliferation efforts,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.