Statement at IAEA's General Conference

Vienna, 28 September 2016

State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland gave this statement at IAEA's 60th General Conference in Vienna.

Mr. President,

I would like to congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of this year's General Conference. I also commend Director General Amano and his staff for their dedication and excellent work.

Since the last General Conference, we have seen the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Norway contributed actively and substantially to its timely implementation . We call on Iran to continue its full cooperation with the IAEA.

We commend President Obama's leadership in putting the issue of nuclear security firmly on the international agenda through the Nuclear Security Summit process. The NSS has shown that collaboration among interested parties can lead to important improvements in nuclear security.

The DPRK remains a matter of grave concern. We condemn the recent nuclear tests, which are undermining the international norm against the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and are creating new obstacles in the efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

Mr. President,

Disarmament and non-proliferation remain high on the Norwegian foreign policy agenda. The Norwegian Parliament has recently given our Government a strong and unanimous mandate to work actively for non-proliferation and disarmament.

The IAEA continues to be an important partner in this endeavour. The Agency is a cornerstone of the global non-proliferation architecture. Norway underlines the importance of the Agency being prepared to carry out potential future verification tasks under nuclear disarmament or arms control agreements, as set out in the Medium-Term Strategy.

The Agency's system of safeguards is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. A standardised, universal regime is the best guarantee against proliferation. We call for universal access to the NPT and for all Member States to conclude Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements with the Agency, and to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol. Norway commends the Agency on the way it is implementing its safeguards mandate, and welcomes the ongoing work to implement the State Level Concept. Safeguards are essential for fostering greater confidence and supporting nuclear disarmament.

The Agency plays a key role in coordinating nuclear security efforts. The entry into force of the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material this year is an important step forward.

Norway strongly advocates minimising and eliminating the use and stockpiling of highly enriched uranium (HEU), by converting to non-HEU alternatives. According to some sources, more than 80 per cent of the world's HEU is found in the non-civilian sector. In addition, the security of high activity radioactive sources and emerging challenges to nuclear security are issues that we should address at the International Conference on Nuclear Security in December. We look forward to a strong ministerial declaration that reaffirms the crucial role of the IAEA in nuclear security.

On Friday, the Nuclear Security Contact Group met for the first time. This network of senior officials will facilitate cooperation and sustain engagement on nuclear security. Their work will underpin governments´ and leaders´ efforts to move beyond the achievements of the Nuclear Security Summit.

Mr President,

We need to improve safety and emergency preparedness by further developing both the IAEA's and our national capacities in this area. We must enhance coordination in order to make effective use of existing expertise. We must continue to seek universal adherence to On Friday, the Nuclear Security Contact Group met for the first time. This network of senior officials will facilitate cooperation and sustaining engagement on nuclear security.

Transport safety remains an issue of high importance. The informal dialogue between coastal states on transport has proved valuable for fostering mutual understanding, building confidence and enhancing communication. We encourage all interested member states to participate. We also look forward to the finalisation of the document on "Safety of transport of radioactive material".

Mr. President,

A robust safety and security regime enables the peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology. It is vital that the statutory activities of the Agency continue to receive necessary funding. The Agency has an important role to play in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we welcome its decision to host this year's scientific forum on how nuclear technology can help us to meet the SDGs.

Finally, we call on all member states to pay their contributions to the Agency on time and in full. In addition to its contribution to the Agency's regular budget and Technical Cooperation Fund, Norway contributes to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund and to the Peaceful Uses Initiative.

Thank you.