Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset let me congratulate you, Dr ElBaradei and the IAEA, on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
It is a prize well deserved.
The IAEA is crucial to international peace and security.
But people make a difference.
It is thanks to the untiring efforts of Dr ElBaradei and his collaborators that the agency continues to be an effective and efficient instrument of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. May the Prize inspire you to keep up this crucial work. And may the Prize serve as an inspiration to us all in our endeavours to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
As a citizen of Norway, I look forward to welcoming you to Oslo on 10 December for the Peace Prize ceremony. Norwegians love Nobel Peace Laureates, and I know this will be no exception.
* * * * *
The threat of weapons of mass destruction and the spectre of nuclear terrorism have brought a new sense of urgency to halting the spread of nuclear weapons.
We did not make the progress we had hoped at the NPT Review Conference, nor at the UN Summit in September. So we need to move forward and mobilize the political will for change that will benefit all.
The IAEA must continue to be at the forefront of this effort. You have our full support.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank another Nobel Peace Laureate, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, for your leadership in this field. It was a great disappointment that your call for a substantive outcome on disarmament and non-proliferation at the UN Summit went unheeded.
This was the status when the new Norwegian Government took office two weeks ago. I have taken note of the Secretary General’s appeal to Norway to help move the process forward.
I can assure you that as foreign minister I intend to make every effort to respond to your invitation.
I am pleased that you have all taken the time to join us this afternoon to take stock and to look ahead. We need to move forward.
You are all familiar with the initiative Norway took, in cooperation with Australia, Indonesia, Chile, Romania, South Africa and the UK, before the UN Summit.
A great opportunity was lost at the Summit. We failed to reach consensus on how to meet some of today’s most serious challenges to international peace and security.
I firmly believe our initiative pointed in the right direction. The positive response it received from such a large number of countries showed that real progress can be achieved.
The key to progress is a focus on a balanced approach. We can only move forward if we achieve concrete and tangible progress in all three areas of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to share with you some specific ideas on how this progress can be achieved:
First; We need to build a common understanding of what the most salient nuclear threats are. We need to make a systematic examination of how changing threat perceptions influence the way we address the challenges of disarmament and non-proliferation.
We have moved from the relatively straightforward threat perceptions of the Cold War era to the notion of common threats with sometimes uncertain origins. Building further consensus on the nature of today’s most urgent nuclear threats could help us break out of the present deadlock between those advocating disarmament at the expense of non-proliferation measures, and vice versa.
Second; We need to make the best use of the IAEA. We are reminded of the vital role of the IAEA in halting the spread of nuclear weapons on an almost daily basis. The IAEA can be trusted as a sound and independent point of reference, and a potential arbitrator with the necessary integrity. This is almost like the role played by the World Health Organisation in the fight against the spread of communicable diseases.
We need to promote universal adherence to the safeguard mechanisms of the IAEA, including the Additional Protocol. This is crucial if we are to preserve the integrity of all three pillars of the NPT.
The IAEA’s capacity to carry out efficient control and verification of nuclear facilities and installations should be strengthened. The IAEA deserves our political, and financial, support.
Third; We must ensure that the right to civilian uses of nuclear technology is subject to strict controls by the IAEA. We will work for a fully proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle. We support the development of multilateral mechanisms that will ensure that States have access to nuclear fuel and technology provided they comply with non-proliferation obligations.
Similarly, we must curb the use of highly enriched uranium for civilian purposes. Here there is also a link to the political level. We should consider mechanisms that would link the attention of the Security Council to the IAEA’s right and opportunity to fulfil its role.
And, at the end of the day, should there be breach of IAEA’s ability to control and verify, then the Security Council should look into the matter.
Fourth; We need to facilitate compliance with Security Council resolution 1540. This resolution is one of our most important instruments for halting the spread of nuclear technology and fissile material to non-state actors.
Many countries require further assistance with fulfilling their obligations under the resolution. Norway stands ready to support efforts to reinforce the UN’s capacity to provide the necessary assistance to countries asking for help.
We consider the regional dimension particularly useful as a channel for support for the implementation of resolution 1540.
And fifth; We need to put renewed emphasis on nuclear disarmament. Our vision remains a world free of nuclear weapons.
We continue to call for an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
In the meantime, the nuclear weapons states must maintain their moratoria on nuclear testing.
We need greater transparency with regard to existing stockpiles of nuclear material, and to further cuts in stockpiles.
We must call for continued efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in security and defence policies.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have outlined Norway’s agenda. We need to be ambitious.
I believe that progress in the area of nuclear disarmament is essential to secure progress in the non-proliferation area – and vice versa.
We need concrete contributions from those States that possess nuclear weapons.
Our success depends on close cooperation between countries from every region of the world and international organisations, research institutions and think-tanks.
We must mobilise the political will and the resources to establish a multilateral negotiating environment guided by a spirit of consensus and united by a common purpose.
Now I have the pleasure of introducing the Director General of the IAEA, Dr ElBaradei.
Dr ElBaradei, the floor is yours.