Speech/statement | Date: 02/08/2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson (New York, 1 August 2022)
National statement on the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, delivered by Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson.
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Let me congratulate you on the assumption of your duties and assure you of Norway’s full support.
The importance of this 10th NPT Review Conference is hard to overstate. Great power rivalry is putting pressure on the multilateral disarmament architecture. New weapons systems are being developed and deployed. Proliferation challenges are on the rise. New threats to international peace and security continue to emerge.
The NPT has helped to safeguard global security for more than half a century. It is the cornerstone of our efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. It is essential that we seize this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty and build on its achievements along all three pillars.
Russia’s unprovoked and ruthless military attack on Ukraine has altered the security landscape in Europe and beyond. Russia’s reckless rhetoric on nuclear weapons has global implications. Russia signed the joint P5 statement in January affirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. We cannot allow the threshold for nuclear use to be lowered.
The DPRK’s pattern of ballistic missile tests and continuous development of its nuclear programme are of great concern. We urge the DPRK to return to dialogue, and to take concrete steps to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
The situation surrounding the JCPOA is deeply worrying. We urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to return to full compliance and to resume full cooperation with the IAEA.
The current challenges to nuclear disarmament are numerous. Yet, we must persist in our efforts to prepare the ground for future binding arms control and disarmament agreements. Disarmament must be mutual, balanced, verifiable, and irreversible. All nuclear-weapon States should step up their efforts to fulfil their commitments under Article VI.
The work on nuclear disarmament verification has progressed in this review cycle. We encourage the Conference to support these continued efforts.
The Quad Nuclear Verification Partnership, in which Norway participates, has presented a working paper on its activities and results relating to technical verification.
We ask States parties to join us in reaffirming the principle of irreversibility as a basic principle in disarmament alongside transparency and verification. Together with the United Kingdom, Norway has submitted a working paper on this topic with the aim of starting a multilateral dialogue.
Norway is part of the Stockholm Initiative, which has presented 22 concrete recommendations for advancing nuclear disarmament, with a separate package of measures on nuclear risk reduction. We encourage all States to support our recommendations.
In addition, we present a working paper on the Norwegian experience in engaging scientific and technical expertise supporting our efforts to advance the NPT.
Transparent implementation of commitments made at previous review conferences is crucial. Norway has presented a report on its national implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of the 2010 Review Conference.
Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. This was stated in 2010. Norway will work with States parties to build on this acknowledgment. It must continue to motivate us in seeking a path towards real disarmament.
Norway strongly advocates the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and the early negotiation and conclusion of a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
We continue to support the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the key international institution for ensuring compliance with non-proliferation obligations. We call on all states to sign a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and an Additional Protocol, which today constitute the global verification standard.
Russia’s violent seizure of control of nuclear facilities in Ukraine is deplorable. We fully support the IAEA’s efforts, including the Director General’s seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security.
Peaceful nuclear applications can support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Norway has therefore provided USD 1 million to the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative.
We firmly believe that all countries should be able to benefit from advanced technologies that have the potential for enhancing health and prosperity. International cooperation on non-proliferation, including on export control, is crucial for preventing proliferation of nuclear and nuclear-related material, equipment and technologies.
We encourage States with highly enriched uranium (HEU) to minimise and eliminate their stocks and use of HEU.
Building competence and capacity, and promoting broad-based participation, including by women and young people, are crucial to the future of the NPT.
In the weeks ahead, we must work together, along all three pillars, to revitalise and strengthen the Treaty and our commitments.