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Norway calls for a strengthened non-proliferation regime

Norway shares the objective of the European Union to strengthen the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. In line with the EU Common Position, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs urges the countries which remain outside the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to adhere as non-nuclear weapons states. In the meantime, one should seek to identify pragmatic ways of moving them closer to the NPT regime, he said.

15/02/2006 :: The obstacles encountered at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), constitute a source of great concern to Norway. "Only by engaging in a constructive dialogue and co-operation will we succeed. For this to happen we need a political commitment by all States Parties. Failure is not an option", Jan Petersen said in his statement.

Disarmament and non-proliferation support each other. Norway considers irreversible and verifiable disarmament to be one of the most important non-proliferation measures. The more nuclear weapons and material that are available, the greater the chance that they will fall into the wrong hands, even into the hands of global terror networks. The Norwegain minister also called for a moratorium on the production and use of highly enriched uranium for civilian use, with a total ban as a long term objective. He said that Norway strongly supports international initiatives for securing and removing fissile material not under adequate control and believes he G8 Global Partnership is vital in this regard.

The Foreign Minister stressed that an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would be an important impediment for any nation contemplating to go nuclear. It would be essential in preventing the development of new weapons and would underscore the aim to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in security policies. Norway urges all nations to ratify this crucial instrument as quickly as possible.

When it comes to the role of the IAEA, the conference should send a clear message that the IAEA Additional Protocol is part of the verification standard, said Mr. Petersen. Countries that have not ratified this instrument should do so without delay. The Protocol should become mandatory for all States Parties.

The Minister also underlined that IAEA must be fully equipped and given the necessary financial resources to carry out its verification mandate. This will be a priority for Norway when entering the Board of Governors this fall.

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