Norway would like to thank Mexico for the work over the past year 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 during another year of challenging circumstances – not least because of the ongoing restrictive COVID environment. The Group of Experts has Norway’s full support.
It is true that the past year has been challenging for the 1540 Committee, as we faced a second year where activities had to be postponed and the Comprehensive Review could not be completed. But we are encouraged with the progress made in recent months.
In this respect, I have three comments on the work of the committee moving forward.
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. Industry, academia and civil society, including international organisations like the IAEA, INTERPOL and OPCW, play an important role in the implementation and follow up of resolution 1540. We are pleased to hear that a pre-booking has been made for the open consultations in May.
I can assure the Chair of the 1540 Committee that Norway looks forward to constructively engaging with him and other members for the remaining activities of the Comprehensive Review, leading up to the renewal of the Committee’s mandate.
We would like to thank Mozambique for submitting its first national report with information on the measures taken to comply with its obligations under resolution 1540 (2004). We encourage the remaining eight States who have yet to submit their first national report to do so without delay.
Norway is working towards balanced, mutual, irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The 1540 Committee has an important role in reaching this goal. The prospect of the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery is of real and continuous concern.
We reiterate the continually evolving nature of the risk of proliferation, including the rapid advances in science, technology and international commerce.
Please be assured of our full support for the work of the 1540 Committee. We look forward to continuing to work together towards the Committee's important work for the duration of its mandate.
I thank you.