Norway would like to thank Mexico, and Ambassador de la Fuente Ramirez for taking up the task as Chair of the 1540 Committee. And for briefing the Council today.
We would also like to thank the Group of Experts for its excellent work in very challenging circumstances – not least because of the current restrictive COVID-19 environment. The Group of Experts has Norway’s full support. Due to the pandemic, we note that a number of activities have been postponed. But we are pleased to see that the Committee and the Group of Experts have been able to adjust to new working methods- and that the work on the Committee matrices were completed last year.
I have two comments on the work of the Committee going forward:
First, the 1540 Committee focuses on the important work of preventing the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors.
We reiterate our concern regarding the continually evolving nature of the risk of proliferation - including the rapid advances in science, technology, and international commerce. In this respect, I can assure you Chair, that Norway looks forward to constructively engaging with you and all members on the Comprehensive Review, leading up to the renewal of the Committee’s mandate. The open consultations are a key part of the Comprehensive Review. It is important that these consultations are robust and that a broad range of stakeholders are included.
Second, to achieve the full implementation of resolution 1540 we must ensure that States requiring and requesting assistance, receive it. An efficient process, which is regularly updated, and which matches requests with offers of assistance is therefore essential.
The prospect of WMD proliferation is of real and continuous concern. Resolution 1540 is a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture, and the work of the Committee is as important as ever. And we look forward to contributing in the years ahead.