H.E. MR. JAN PETERSEN
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
HEAD OF THE NORWEGIAN DELEGATION
SECOND CONFERENCE ON FACILITATING THE ENTRY INTO FORCE
OF THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY
NEW YORK, 11 NOVEMBER 2001
(CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
Like the other speakers before me, I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of this second Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. It is an important assignment and you can count on my delegation's full support.
The appalling act of terrorism that struck this city and Washington on 11 September gives cause for the strongest condemnation and we would like to convey our deepest sympathy and full solidarity with the American people and the US government. We are all affected by the events of 11 September.
Norway is convinced that close international
co-operation and a multilateral approach to non-proliferation and disarmament
are essential if we wish to reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass
destruction and the terrorist threat to international peace and security.
We already have a broad framework to build on, which consists of multilateral
and bilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.
Effective implementation and continued strengthening of these regimes must
form an integral part of any future strategy. We need to make a fresh effort
to achieve universal membership on key existing treaties, such as the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
We are at an important juncture in the process of bringing about the Entry Into Force of the CTBT. Norway associates itself with the statement made by Belgium on behalf of the European Union today.
The CTBT represents more than four decades of hard work and unwavering dedication to banning all nuclear tests. We strongly believe the world will be a safer place with the CTBT than without it. Achieving universal adherence and securing the Treaty's Entry Into Force at the earliest possible date are essential for broader efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons, and must have the highest priority. This Conference should be instrumental in achieving this end.
We appeal to all countries that have
not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty unconditionally and without delay.
The positions of the nuclear powers are of crucial importance. We recommend
the lead taken by France, Russia and the UK.
Verification is a key to the effectiveness
of all arms control and disarmament treaties. Further sustained efforts
are needed to accomplish the build-up of the CTBT's verification system.
It is now imperative to ensure the necessary funding and subsequent full
operation of the system in accordance with the requirements set out in
the Treaty. Norway will continue its active participation in, and dedication,
to this work. We look forward to continued co-operation and support from
all States Signatories and Ratifiers in the build-up of all elements in
the Treaty's verification system.
While we most welcome self-imposed moratoria on testing, such unilateral measures cannot take the place of legally binding and fully verifiable commitments through the signing and ratification of international agreements. Norway believes that in order to succeed in developing stable regional and global security arrangements, it is important that all states are firmly bound to the norms and institutions established by international disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.
In the interest of international
trust, stability and peace, the early entry into force of the CTBT and
its effective implementation are essential. Universal adherence must be
secured. Norway is unequivocally committed to achieving these objectives.
We have made progress since our last Conference, and with the necessary
political will we could be approaching the finish line. Let us make sure
that we cross it soon.