Let me start by joining those who have expressed their warm thanks to you, President Lee, for hosting this event. I would also like to commend President Obama for launching and following up so actively this important initiative, and for his steadfast commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
We are meeting at a time where the nuclear arsenals and unsecured nuclear materials are still putting our non-proliferation efforts at risk.
And we must deal with the serious danger of nuclear terrorism. It is a national responsibility to establish necessary legislation and safeguards for nuclear security.
However, it is our collective responsibility to provide the necessary international framework to ensure the safe handling of nuclear material, and to prevent such materials from falling into the wrong hands.
The Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism is an important tool for ensuring nuclear security. We will ratify this Convention this year. And we urge other countries to do the same.
Each region has its own challenges.
This year, Norway and Russia mark 20 years of close cooperation on nuclear safety and cleaning up the Cold War’s nuclear legacy.
In this period, Norway has allocated 280 million US dollars to projects in North-West Russia.
Our focus has been the dismantling of nuclear submarines, converting radioactive batteries in lighthouse lanterns, and nuclear power plant safety.
What we do at the regional level is important, but at the same we must increase our global efforts. We must ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency is given the necessary resources to fulfil its tasks.
I am happy to announce that we will increase our contribution to the Nuclear Security Fund.
The use of highly enriched uranium in the civilian sector is a particular challenge.
We have engaged actively in the work to minimize such use.
However, we must also address the challenge of the stocks of highly enriched uranium for military purposes.
There is a clear connection between nuclear security, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Fewer nuclear weapons means more nuclear security. It reduces the risk of proliferation. And it is clearly good security policy.
We are here to take stock of progress since we met in Washington two years ago. We are here to renew our commitment to increased nuclear security and a safer world. And we want to send a strong message of our collective determination to address an issue of vital importance to all of us.