Norway has actively promoted nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for decades and remains committed to working towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Current challenges to nuclear disarmament are numerous. Over the past few months, global security has rapidly deteriorated. Russia’s unprovoked and ruthless military attack against Ukraine and continued reckless rhetoric on nuclear weapons is a direct threat to international security. It is worth recalling that just a few weeks before the invasion, Russia signed a joint statement of the P5 countries affirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
Proliferation challenges are on the rise and cause great concern.
The DPRK’s continuous development of its nuclear weapons programme, and recently announced policy for use, are destabilising and deeply disturbing. We urge the DPRK to abandon its nuclear and ballistic programmes in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, and to re-commit to meaningful negotiations towards this end.
Furthermore, Norway is deeply concerned for the future of the JCPOA. We urge Iran to return to compliance with its nuclear-related commitments.
Any use of nuclear weapons would have global ramifications. The humanitarian and environmental consequences would be catastrophic.
Yes, it is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons never be used again. A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
Thus, we cannot allow the threshold for nuclear use to be lowered. We must persist in our efforts to reduce the risks and to pave the way for future disarmament and arms control agreements.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the foundation for our efforts on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful uses. We regret that Russia blocked consensus at the 10th NPT Review Conference. We should nevertheless be encouraged that State parties managed to find common ground on divisive issues and showed a strong commitment to the Treaty.
The overarching goal of the NPT is to reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear arsenals. Nuclear disarmament must be mutual, balanced, irreversible and verifiable. Norway continues its leadership on disarmament verification, including through the UN Government Group of Experts (GGE), and welcomes the progress made in this field.
Norway continues to advocate for the rapid entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and call upon the last eight Annex II countries to ratify the CTBT without delay. The Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol, constitute the global verification standard.
We will take necessary steps to regulate the development of autonomous weapons systems.
An open, free, and secure cyberspace is essential to maintain international peace and security. The affirmation of the applicability of international law to cyberspace is the cornerstone of both the GGE and the OEWG consensus reports. This achievement can be realised only through the implementation and compliance by all states.
Norway remains committed to preventing an arms race in space and to maintaining it as a peaceful, safe, stable, secure and sustainable environment, accessible to all. We welcome the comprehensive approach of the ongoing Open Ended Working Group on reducing space threats.
The global conventions to prohibit chemical and biological weapons are foundational pillars in our non-proliferation architecture. Disturbingly though, we have witnessed recurring use of chemical weapons. Lately, the Russian Federation has tried to establish a false narrative of biological weapons production in Ukraine. Such unfounded allegations undermine multilateral cooperation.
We cannot allow these pillars to be eroded by blatant violations, nor allow the conventions to become arenas for false accusations. We must therefore make sure that the upcoming review conferences are used to strengthen these conventions and recommit to their ultimate intentions: to ensure that chemical and biological weapons cannot, and must not, under any circumstance, be used.
There must be no impunity for those who develop and use chemical and biological weapons. Norway reaffirms its support to the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat, and the UN Secretary General’s Mechanism.
We strongly support the universalisation of The Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), which contributes to transparency and confidence building on ballistic technology development.
The Arms Trade Treaty establishes a universal norm for responsibility in international arms trade. We continue to promote the code and to support efforts towards ensuring an effective implementation of the Treaty by all Signatories.
The Mine Ban and Cluster Munitions Conventions have been hugely successful. Yet, we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of these weapons, including improvised ones. We must double down on implementation and universalisation of these life-saving conventions.
Norway will continue its efforts to promote gender equality and diverse participation in disarmament processes, and support initiatives to involve the younger generation in this work.