Press release | Date: 28/10/2016 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
'I am pleased that Norway's resolution on enhancing nuclear disarmament verification has received the solid backing of 177 UN countries. Being able to establish that disarmament is actually taking place is crucial for ensuring confidence in international disarmament agreements, and it is essential for achieving further disarmament,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
At this year's UN General Assembly, Norway put forward a new resolution on nuclear disarmament verification. The aim of the resolution is to ensure that international agreements on nuclear disarmament are actually followed up by nuclear-weapon states, and that it is possible to monitor this. The resolution was adopted last night by an overwhelming majority, with 177 countries voting in favour with only seven countries abstaining. No countries voted against the resolution. Around 60 countries joined Norway in co-sponsoring the resolution.
Norway has for years worked closely with the UK to develop methods for nuclear disarmament verification. This cooperation has given Norway unique expertise in a technically complex area.
'There is still a need to develop new technologies and methods for documenting that disarmament is actually taking place. We need to find solutions that enhance the capacity of nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapons states alike to monitor the destruction of nuclear warheads. Norway attaches particular importance to ensuring that this work has the support of the UN. It is crucial that all countries, not just the nuclear-weapon states themselves, can be confident that agreements are being followed up. That is why we want to share our experience and make sure that vital expertise in this area is developed in other countries,' said Mr Brende.
The work on nuclear disarmament verification is an important part of Norway's disarmament and non-proliferation policy.
'Norway is working towards the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Although the Iran agreement in 2015 was an important achievement, today's security policy landscape does not give much grounds for optimism. It is difficult to secure the involvement of nuclear-weapon states in the negotiation of new agreements on nuclear disarmament. Precisely for that reason, it is important to promote concrete and effective measures that can pave the way for future agreements, and that can build confidence and foster cooperation between countries even if they have very different positions on disarmament.
'I would also like to thank our Norwegian diplomats in New York. They have unique expertise in the field of disarmament, and have worked hard to negotiate this resolution and ensure that it received broad support,' said Mr Brende.