Norway

Nuclear-weapon endorser

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Summary

Norway has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

National position

Norway supports the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, as indicated by its endorsement of various alliance statements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of which it is a member.

Norway has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

Six former Norwegian prime ministers, foreign ministers, and defence ministers – Kjell Magne Bondevik, Bjørn Tore Godal, Thorbjørn Jagland, Eldbjørg Løwer, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, and Knut Vollebæk – signed an open letter in 2020 calling on current leaders to “show courage and boldness – and join the treaty”.

They co-authored a separate opinion article for the Aftenposten newspaper in which they reiterated their call for the Norwegian government to join the treaty.

Several Norwegian political parties have indicated their support for Norway’s signature and ratification of the treaty, including the Liberal, Christian Democratic, Center, Socialist Left, Green, and Red parties.

In April 2021, the Labour party offered qualified support, declaring that “it should be a goal for Norway and other NATO countries to sign the nuclear ban treaty” while emphasising the political challenges in doing so. 

In 2018, the Norwegian parliament asked the Norwegian government to review the consequences of becoming a state party to the treaty. In its report, the government said that Norway could not join the treaty “without coming into conflict with our membership in NATO”. However, this claim has been widely rejected.

The minister of foreign affairs, Ine Søreide, conceded in 2018 that “there is no legal obligation barring Norway from signing or ratifying the [treaty]”.

Dozens of Norwegian cities, including the capital city, Oslo, have called on the Norwegian government to sign and ratify the treaty.


Dignitaries including the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, attend a ceremony in Oslo in 2017 at which ICAN received the Nobel peace prize. Photo: ICAN

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by Respons Analyse in 2019 found that 78 per cent of Norwegians believe that their government should sign and ratify the treaty, with 9 per cent opposed and 13 per cent unsure.

Of the 78 per cent of Norwegians who support joining the treaty, 85 per cent believe that Norway should join even if we were to be the first NATO country to do so, with 5 per cent opposed to such a move and 10 per cent unsure.

Thousands of Norwegians march in Oslo in 2017 in support of the treaty and in celebration of the Nobel peace prize awarded to ICAN. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

Norway did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption.

In 2016, Norway voted against the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

In a document sent to NATO members ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members, including Norway, to vote against the resolution, “not to merely abstain”. In addition, it said that, if the treaty negotiations do commence, allies and partners should “refrain from joining them”.

 

Before the negotiations

In March 2013, the Norwegian government hosted in Oslo the first in a series of major intergovernmental conferences on the “humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons”, which helped pave the way to the treaty negotiations in 2017.

The goal of negotiating a new legal instrument to outlaw nuclear weapons was a key aim of the Norwegian centre–left coalition government from 2010 until its defeat at the parliamentary election in September 2013.

Delegates representing 128 states meet in Oslo in 2013 for the first conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Photo: ICAN

ICAN campaigners welcome delegates to the first conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, hosted by Norway in Oslo in 2013. Photo: ICAN

Nuclear-weapon endorser

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Summary

Norway has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

National position

Norway supports the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, as indicated by its endorsement of various alliance statements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of which it is a member.

Norway has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

Six former Norwegian prime ministers, foreign ministers, and defence ministers – Kjell Magne Bondevik, Bjørn Tore Godal, Thorbjørn Jagland, Eldbjørg Løwer, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, and Knut Vollebæk – signed an open letter in 2020 calling on current leaders to “show courage and boldness – and join the treaty”.

They co-authored a separate opinion article for the Aftenposten newspaper in which they reiterated their call for the Norwegian government to join the treaty.

Several Norwegian political parties have indicated their support for Norway’s signature and ratification of the treaty, including the Liberal, Christian Democratic, Center, Socialist Left, Green, and Red parties.

In April 2021, the Labour party offered qualified support, declaring that “it should be a goal for Norway and other NATO countries to sign the nuclear ban treaty” while emphasising the political challenges in doing so. 

In 2018, the Norwegian parliament asked the Norwegian government to review the consequences of becoming a state party to the treaty. In its report, the government said that Norway could not join the treaty “without coming into conflict with our membership in NATO”. However, this claim has been widely rejected.

The minister of foreign affairs, Ine Søreide, conceded in 2018 that “there is no legal obligation barring Norway from signing or ratifying the [treaty]”.

Dozens of Norwegian cities, including the capital city, Oslo, have called on the Norwegian government to sign and ratify the treaty.


Dignitaries including the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, attend a ceremony in Oslo in 2017 at which ICAN received the Nobel peace prize. Photo: ICAN

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by Respons Analyse in 2019 found that 78 per cent of Norwegians believe that their government should sign and ratify the treaty, with 9 per cent opposed and 13 per cent unsure.

Of the 78 per cent of Norwegians who support joining the treaty, 85 per cent believe that Norway should join even if we were to be the first NATO country to do so, with 5 per cent opposed to such a move and 10 per cent unsure.

Thousands of Norwegians march in Oslo in 2017 in support of the treaty and in celebration of the Nobel peace prize awarded to ICAN. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

Norway did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption.

In 2016, Norway voted against the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

In a document sent to NATO members ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members, including Norway, to vote against the resolution, “not to merely abstain”. In addition, it said that, if the treaty negotiations do commence, allies and partners should “refrain from joining them”.

 

Before the negotiations

In March 2013, the Norwegian government hosted in Oslo the first in a series of major intergovernmental conferences on the “humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons”, which helped pave the way to the treaty negotiations in 2017.

The goal of negotiating a new legal instrument to outlaw nuclear weapons was a key aim of the Norwegian centre–left coalition government from 2010 until its defeat at the parliamentary election in September 2013.

Delegates representing 128 states meet in Oslo in 2013 for the first conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Photo: ICAN

ICAN campaigners welcome delegates to the first conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, hosted by Norway in Oslo in 2013. Photo: ICAN

[PARTNERS]

Bellona 

website


Centre Youth

website


Changemaker 

website


Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations 

website


European Youth of Norway 

website


Fredsinitiativet  

website


Green Youth

website


ICAN Norway 

website


International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Norway) 

website


Juvente

website


Nature and Youth (Young Friends of the Earth Norway) 

website


No to Nuclear Weapons

website


Norwegian Civil Service Union 

website


Norwegian Farmer’s Union

website


Norwegian Humanist Association 

website


Norwegian Labour Youth

website


Norwegian Peace Association 

website


Norwegian Peace Council 

website


Norwegian People’s Aid 

website


Norwegian Pugwash Committee 

website


Norwegian Young Christian Democrats 

website


PRESS (Youth Organisation of Save the Children Norway) 

website


Red Youth

website


Spire 

website


Storebrand 

website


Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Norway

website


World Student Christian Federation Norway 

website


Young Liberals of Norway 

website


Fredsbevegelsen på Nesodden 

website


Norges Fredsråd - Norwegian Peace Council

website

[LOCALSUPPORT]

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in Norway›

ICAN Cities Appeal

These are the cities and towns in this country speaking out in support of the TPNW:

Ålesund
Ås
Arendal
Aurksog-Høland
Austrheim
Båtsfjord
Bamble
Bergen
Bodø
Drammen
Eidsvoll
Fjaler
Gjerstad
Gulen
Halden
Hammerfest
Haugesund
Hjartdal
Hjelmeland
Horten
Høyanger
Hurdal
Karlsøy
Karmøy
Kristiansand
Kristiansund
Levanger
Lillehammar
Lillestrøm
Lund
Malvik
Midtre Gauldal
Mo i Rana
Moss
Nordreisa
Nord-Odal
Oslo
Ørsta
Øystre Slidre
Ringsaker
Risør
Skien
Sortland
Sør-Varanger
Sunndal
Tolga
Tromsø
Trondheim
Utsira
Ulvik
Vaksdal
Vang
Vega
Vinje
Vik
Volda
Voss

No events yet

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in Norway›

ICAN Cities Appeal

These are the cities and towns in this country speaking out in support of the TPNW:

Ålesund
Ås
Arendal
Aurksog-Høland
Austrheim
Båtsfjord
Bamble
Bergen
Bodø
Drammen
Eidsvoll
Fjaler
Gjerstad
Gulen
Halden
Hammerfest
Haugesund
Hjartdal
Hjelmeland
Horten
Høyanger
Hurdal
Karlsøy
Karmøy
Kristiansand
Kristiansund
Levanger
Lillehammar
Lillestrøm
Lund
Malvik
Midtre Gauldal
Mo i Rana
Moss
Nordreisa
Nord-Odal
Oslo
Ørsta
Øystre Slidre
Ringsaker
Risør
Skien
Sortland
Sør-Varanger
Sunndal
Tolga
Tromsø
Trondheim
Utsira
Ulvik
Vaksdal
Vang
Vega
Vinje
Vik
Volda
Voss

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›

  • Bellona 

    website

  • Centre Youth

    website

  • Changemaker 

    website

  • Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations 

    website

  • European Youth of Norway 

    website

  • Fredsinitiativet  

    website

  • Green Youth

    website

  • ICAN Norway 

    website

  • International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Norway) 

    website

  • Juvente

    website

  • Nature and Youth (Young Friends of the Earth Norway) 

    website

  • No to Nuclear Weapons

    website

  • Norwegian Civil Service Union 

    website

  • Norwegian Farmer’s Union

    website

  • Norwegian Humanist Association 

    website

  • Norwegian Labour Youth

    website

  • Norwegian Peace Association 

    website

  • Norwegian Peace Council 

    website

  • Norwegian People’s Aid 

    website

  • Norwegian Pugwash Committee 

    website

  • Norwegian Young Christian Democrats 

    website

  • PRESS (Youth Organisation of Save the Children Norway) 

    website

  • Red Youth

    website

  • Spire 

    website

  • Storebrand 

    website

  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Norway

    website

  • World Student Christian Federation Norway 

    website

  • Young Liberals of Norway 

    website

  • Fredsbevegelsen på Nesodden 

    website

  • Norges Fredsråd - Norwegian Peace Council

    website