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Statement delivered by Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the “Article XIV Conference” on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty – CTBT

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Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current fraught geopolitical scenario we are going through places ahead of us a number of challenges involving multiple dimensions of security. The illegal war of aggression triggered by the Russian Federation – besides brutally endangering civilians and civil infrastructure – evokes concrete concerns for nuclear and radiological security, raises threats across the whole CBRN spectrum, and potentially affects the functioning of the CTBT-based data collection system. Moreover, the fact that the DPRK is apparently preparing to conduct a nuclear casts an alarming shadow on our common security.

In this regard, the enduring value of the Treaty as a major component of the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture clearly stands out. Ever since its adoption, and although it has not yet entered into force, it has contributed to achieve paramount goals. It helped spread and consolidate a global norm against nuclear weapons testing, paving the way for a moratorium on nuclear tests, and forged a highly effective global verification regime, with an invaluable role in providing trustworthy and independent data, while helping reduce the risks on the environment and human health arising from nuclear explosions.

On these grounds, we firmly uphold the prompt entry into force and full operationalization of the CTBT as a stepping stone in preventing nuclear proliferation and operationalizing the global disarmament agenda. Moreover, and thanks to the capabilities of its verification system, the Treaty is set to become a major achievement of science diplomacy and international technological cooperation.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Throughout the two-year co-Presidency of the art. XIV Conference, Italy has spared no effort to advance the entry into force process, in one with South Africa and the Executive Secretariat, which we wish to thank once again for the tireless commitment invested in coordinating international efforts towards the Treaty’s promotion and universalization. As the Progress Report underlines, and in line with the Action Plan’s objectives, we launched targeted outreach and promotional activities, at the bilateral and multilateral level, with the remaining Annex II and non-ratifying States, taking into account the country specific context of each of them. We worked to raise awareness on the significance of the Convention and the benefits of ratifying it and reaffirmed the crucial value of the global norm against nuclear testing, along with the importance we attach to the CTBT’s entry into force, in all NPD fora.

Today we hail the fact that over the last two years eight additional ratifications expanded the Treaty’s membership and, in the last few days, one more country (Somalia) decided to sign the CTBT. We attach great value to this Conference as a unique platform to give momentum to the Treaty and revitalize its cause.  As 27 years passed since this process was launched, time has come to outline concrete steps to move the Treaty forward, operationalize the ratification process, and facilitate its prompt entry into force. It remains crucial that all States abide by the moratorium on nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and refrain from any action contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty.

For Italy, the universalization of the CTBT will remain a key priority for the years to come. While we encourage all Annex II States to join the Treaty and ramp up its entry into force, we stand ready to continue to provide the CTBTO with financial contribution and intangible support.

We would like to thank representatives from Panama and Norway, the incoming art. XIV co-presidents, for picking up the baton, while wishing them fruitful work for the two years to come. Together, we will lay solid grounds for sustainable development and security for all.