Norway last week became the first Nato state — and first nuclear weapon complicit state — to commit to participating at the First Meeting of States Parties of the TPNW. The commitment was included in the government’s coalition agreement, released on 13 October. The move by Norway breaks the hard line against the TPNW that Nato had sought to exert on its member states, and opens the doors for others in the alliance to follow suit.

A return to Norway’s leadership on nuclear disarmament?

Norway’s elections in September led to a change of government, with Jonas Gahr Støre of the Labour Party elected as Prime Minister. Gahr Støre is well-known to advocates of nuclear disarmament, having been supportive as foreign minister of Norway of the “humanitarian initiative” process which led to the negotiations of the TPNW.

“That Norway as the first Nato country confirms that it will participate as an observer at the nuclear weapons ban treaty’s first meeting of states parties sends an important signal to our allies that nuclear weapons are unacceptable,” says Tuva Widskjold, coordiNator for ICAN Partner ICAN Norway.

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