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Norway Restricts Arms Exports

The rules for the export of Norwegian weapons are to be tightened.

The second deputy chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence, Snorre Valen said that Norway should bear more respect for human rights, international law and domestic political considerations. 

According to Norwegian daily- Dagsavisen,  a checklist of seven points of arms export has been prepared in cooperation with the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI.

The checklist includes tightening the rules on export of defense equipment, export control and international non-proliferation efforts. 

Decisions on whether to allow the export of a country or not, Norway will take into consideration following conditions in the country:

  • - Attitudes to international human rights instruments, respect for humanitarian law
  • - Respect for civil and political rights
  • - Reports by the competent organs of serious violations of human rights, including the use of torture or other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the receiving State; or arbitrary deprivation of liberty
  • - The risk that the military equipment may be used for violation of basic human rights, for example using such military equipment to crack down on peaceful demonstrations
  • - Risk of unwanted diversion from the given user, including whether the military equipment or military technology is intended for national security purposes
  • - Attitudes to international human rights instruments, respect for humanitarian law
  • - Respect for civil and political rights
  • - Reports by the competent organs of serious violations of human rights, including the use of torture or other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the receiving State; or arbitrary deprivation of liberty
  • - The risk that the military equipment may be used for violation of basic human rights, for example using such military equipment to crack down on peaceful demonstrations
  • - Risk of unwanted diversion from the given user, including whether the military equipment or military technology is intended for national security purposes
  • - Respect for civil and political rights
  • - Reports by the competent organs of serious violations of human rights, including the use of torture or other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the receiving State; or arbitrary deprivation of liberty
  • - The risk that the military equipment may be used for violation of basic human rights, for example using such military equipment to crack down on peaceful demonstrations
  • - Risk of unwanted diversion from the given user, including whether the military equipment or military technology is intended for national security purposes
  • - Issues related to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press or freedom of assembly
  • - Regulatory Monitoring, including censorship and conditions for citizens’ use of social media / internet

- Norway has strict rules on arms exports, but there has been a need to tighten both regulations and practices. This has been an important issue for us, and we are glad that mitigation is now conducted, says Snorre Valen.

According to Norwegian regulations Norway should not sell guns or ammunition to areas of war or threat of war. There is still a risk that Norwegian weapons, ammunition and firearm parts end up in countries that are at war or violate fundamental human rights.

Norway fourth largest exporter in 2008

According to the UN database for external trade (UN Comtrade), Norway was the fourth largest exporter of military equipment in 2008. This was the highest ranking the country has ever had. The Norwegian contribution in terms of export values that year accounted for 5.7 per cent of the world’s total export of weapons and arms. In 2009, the last available year in the UN database, Norway fell to sixth place, the same position as in 2007. The top three major weapons exporters have for many years been the USA, Canada and Italy. With exports amounting to USD 4.4 billion, the USA clearly stands out from the rest. This corresponds to around NOK 26 billion, which is close to 40 per cent of the total registered global weapons export in 2009.

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