8 out of 10 thinks that Norway should sign the UN ban on nuclear weapons
A recent survey conducted by the Response Analysis on behalf of Norsk Folkehjelp (Norwegian People’s Aid), 78 percent states that Norway should sign the UN Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Of these, 83 percent say that we should sign even if we are to be the first NATO country to do so.
The UN treaty was adopted this summer and will be available for signing during the General Assembly of the UN in New York to be held on September 20. It contains a categorical ban against nuclear weapons and provides a framework for how the world’s nine nuclear weapons states can destroy their stocks and adhere to the ban. The Government including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, boycotted the UN negotiations surrounding the agreement and states that it will never be signed by them.
Only 7 per cent of the respondents answer no to the question whether Norway should sign the UN Treaty, while 15 per cent are undecided. Among the 78 per cent who believe Norway should sign, only 6 per cent say that we should not do it if we are the first NATO country to do so, while 11 per cent are undecided.
– The results show that the Government is completely out of sync with the people in this important issue regarding Norwegian foreign and security policy. In these election campaign times, we hope that the Labour Party and the rest of the opposition notices that a clear majority of Norwegians wants a much more brave nuclear weapons policy than what we have seen over the last four years, says Secretary General in the Norwegian People’s Aid, Henriette Westhrin.
Strong will to spearhead NATO
Norwegian People’s Aid particularly notes that the survey shows that most Norwegians have a strong will to spearhead NATO. That is an important signal to politicians.
-There is much bigger leeway in NATO than the Conservatives and the Progress Party want to realize. Fortunately, the Labour Party, the Centre Party, the Socialist Party, the Liberals and the Greens have been advocated that Norway should adopt a much more active policy. With the necessary gall, Norway can lead the way in NATO ensuring that serveral allies sign the ban at the same time and thereby make a pathway towards sustainable security. Today Norwegian politics, on the contrary, contribute to increasing the risk of proliferation and use of nuclear weapons, says Westhrin.
– We hope that nuclear weapons will become a more important topic in the election campaign. At a time when the danger of nuclear weapons is considered greater than it was during the Cold War, there is no more important issue to debate. To many voters, it is crucial what stance a party has in this matter, Westhrin believes.
The Norwegian People’s Aid wishes that the Government as soon as possible after the election begins to evaluate what the ban Treaty entail for Norway and other NATO countries and how we should relate to it. In order to sign the ban, Norway must ensure that our national defense plans and security policies do not under any circumstances include or foresee an opportunity for other countries to use nuclear weapons on our behalf. This is possible both legally and in practice.
The survey from Response Analysis was conducted during the last week of August. It is nationwide and includes 1046 respondents aged between 16 and 89.
© Norsk Folkehjelp / Norway Today