Statement by Norway, The Eight Conference of States Parties (CSP8) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), 22. – 26. August 2022 General Debate

Statement by Norway, held by Chargée d’affaires Ms Jannicke GraatrudThe Eight Conference of States Parties (CSP8) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), 22. – 26. August 2022General Debate

Mr. President,

Norway aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and would like to add some remarks in our national capacity.

First of all, we thank you Mr. President for your excellent chairmanship of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) over the past year despite the challenges brought upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic. Let me also thank the Government of Switzerland, the Secretariat, and the chairs of the working groups for hosting and organizing the conference and the working group meetings in a hybrid format. It is our belief that we should not forget the benefits of virtual elements also in the future.    

Mr. President,

The ATT is a milestone for the international community. We have established responsible standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons on a global level. However, the ATT rests on a set of common rules and norms that are under increasing pressure.  At this crucial point in history , it is more important than ever to strive to uphold the multilateral system and continue to move ahead.

We therefore applaud this year’s first Diversion Information Exchange Forum that allows us to further strengthen the goals of the ATTs and to safely share operational information about cases of diversion.

Norway also takes the opportunity to thank and give our fullest support to the German Presidency’s focus on Post-Shipment Controls and post-delivery coordination. We look forward to continuing the productive exchanges on concrete measures to reduce the risk of diversion, also in the post shipment phase.  

For Norway, reducing the risk of diversion and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a central part of our efforts to reduce armed conflict and violence across the world. In many regions, large quantities of arms contribute to high levels of conflict and instability. The availability of illicit arms also increases the risk of sexual and gender-based violence. We must therefore continue a systematic focus on women, peace and security in our efforts to implement the objectives of the Treaty.

Mr. President,

International standards are at their strongest when they are universally applied – which is why we must push for further universalization of the ATT. We are pleased that the Treaty now has reached 111 States Parties, and we warmly welcome the Philippines as the latest state party to join the ATT.  We further encourage signatory states to speed up their ratification processes.

We must also continue to concentrate our efforts for a more effective implementation. Norway supports efforts to provide technical assistance to Member States – and I am pleased to announce that Norway will contribute NOK 500,000 (approx. 50,000 USD) to the Voluntary Trust Fund this year.

But universalization and implementation are not enough. We must continuously strive for greater transparency and openness within the ATT. Norway strives to be as transparent as possible. We are pleased to announce that we in addition to this year’s annual report also have submitted an even more detailed report on Norwegian exports of defense related products which is based on the report we submit to our Parliament. The report will be made available on the ATT website.

However, we note with concern the continuous decline in reporting rates. We are observing a similar situation regarding financial obligations. Norway therefore strongly urges all States Parties to honor their obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty. We appreciate the Secretariat’s efforts to follow up this issue with the countries concerned and to provide assistance where needed.

Finally, Norway would like to highlight the important role and contributions by civil society. We encourage NGOs to continue monitoring the implementation of the ATT, raise awareness and to mobilize their regional networks to create further support for the Treaty’s norms, principles and standards.

Mr. President, you have the full support of our delegation, and we look forward to a productive and constructive conference.  

Thank you, Mr. President.