Statement delivered by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Coopeartion, Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, at the Security Council Ministerial-level Meeting on Denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) —
Thank you, Mr. President
I would like, first of all, to thank the Presidency for convening this timely meeting on such a key and pressing priority for the United Nations Security Council.
I think that this body must deploy any possible effort to solve the crisis exacerbated by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) persistent ambition to pursue its military nuclear program.
Italy condemns in the strongest terms all the nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches carried out by the DPRK. Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose indeed a grave and increasing threat, not only to the regional and international peace and security, but also to the global non-proliferation regime.
We all share a common sense of urgency, since we rightly presume that, through its tests or launches, the DPRK is making advances in its military nuclear technology and capability. Such progress represents an exceptional level of threat for the international community.
For this reason, Italy will continue to fully support the implementation of an effective sanctions regime, as a tool to produce a change of behaviour in the DPRK leadership. We are also ready to reinforce this sanctions regime in case of additional nuclear test or if necessary to reach the objective of a peaceful and comprehensive solution of the issue.
We strongly believe that a consistent and full implementation of the sanctions is the only way to make them effective in the framework of a comprehensive strategy for long-term peace and security.
In this regard, let me recall what the Panel of Experts stated last February, that the implementation of the sanctions regime remains insufficient and highly inconsistent, while – I quote – “all Member States should reaffirm their commitment to rigorous enforcement of United Nations sanctions”.
Sanctions must remain an instrument of a broader strategy, not an end in themselves. Such a regime requires members States’ awareness and dedication, in good faith. As Chair of the 1718 Committee, Italy is committed to help all UN member States to fully implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and, in particular, Resolutions 2270 and 2321. To this end, an open briefing was held in February, and since March we have been organizing a set of outreach meetings with UN regional groups in cooperation with the Panel of Experts. Two meetings – with Latin America and Eastern Europe – have already taken place. The meeting with the African Group will be held on May 1st, while those with WEOG and Asian Group will take place by the end of May.
As stated by Secretary Tillerson, our collective actions are not targeted against the North Korea population but towards a regime that should put its population interest and wellbeing above any consideration of military power. The Security Council resolutions are clear in that respect, and as Chair of the Sanctions Committee we take great care in avoiding any unintended consequences for the civilian population in the country.
Italy reaffirms the objective to achieve a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction threats.
We are convinced that, through its nuclear and missile programs, the DPRK, while blatantly disregarding its international obligations, does not serve its own security goal. On the contrary, we are convinced that the DPRK could much better meet its security needs by abiding by its international obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions and its commitments under the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks of 19 September 2005.
Furthermore, a few weeks from the commencement of the NPT next review cycle, Italy reiterates its demand that DPRK return at an early date to the NPT and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards.
Finally, allow me to underline that the DPRK illegal nuclear and missile programs cause a deplorable diversion of crucial resources that should be devoted to primary needs of the people of North Korea.
We believe that the DPRK, by immediately repealing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, would create the conditions for its reintegration in the international community and generate opportunities to improve its economy and the standards of living of its people.