C1: Nuclear weapons cluster

Joint statement on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Norway given by Knut Langeland, Norway's Special Representative for Disarmament to the First Committee on Agenda items 89 – 105: Nuclear weapons cluster, 17 October 2016.

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and my own country, Norway.

Fully aware of the horrible effects of the use of nuclear weapons, the Netherlands and Norway would like to reaffirm our shared and continuing efforts to achieve full elimination of nuclear weapons. Only in this way can we avoid the risk that these weapons will be used again. Nobody should ever again have to suffer the humanitarian consequences of their use.

For decades, the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has greatly contributed to global security as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and we work actively to achieve its full implementation. We base our efforts on the sequencing and chronology inherent in Article VI of the NPT, taking a long-term perspective in working for a legally binding framework to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

We would like to reiterate that all of us are obliged to work towards this goal in good faith, and indeed reach it, in the context of our collective obligations under the NPT.

Mr. Chair,

We wish to stress that a nuclear-weapon-free world will require the adoption of a legally binding instrument. Such an instrument should be based on the balanced, mutual, irreversible and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons, and must be supported by both nuclear-weapon possessors and non-nuclear-weapon states alike, in order to ensure that we achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.

There are disagreements on the required timing, sequencing and modalities for a legally binding framework to satisfy these conditions. Despite these differences of opinion, we must continue to work, in the context of Article VI NPT, towards making further progress on nuclear disarmament and, with that, towards creating the conditions that allow for the start of negotiations of a credible and effective prohibition on nuclear weapons.

On this basis, the Netherlands and Norway, together with Chile, Finland, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, have tabled a resolution working for multilateral verification of nuclear disarmament. We hope that this resolution can have the support of all countries. The resolution goes beyond the question of sequencing. To reach our overarching goal of a world rid of nuclear weapons, we will at some point need multilateral verification tools. Let's start this work now.

Mr. Chair,

It is of outmost importance that we do not let ourselves be divided to the point that it stops progress. Our views converge on many issues, and we share a common goal. These are the issues we should focus on. The Netherlands and Norway will continue to do so.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.