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Statement by Italy’s Permanent Representative Ambassador Maurizio Massari at UN General Assembly meeting under agenda item 63 entitled “use of the veto”, following the veto cast by one permanent member during the meeting of the Security Council on 28 March 2024 under the agenda item entitled “Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

PR

Mr. President,

Italy fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to add some considerations in its national capacity.

Italy expresses profound concern on Russia’s recent veto at the Security Council, blocking the annual renewal of the mandate of the Panel of Experts in support of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. This veto serves as a deliberate attempt to suppress and silence the independent and objective investigations conducted by the Panel. For over a decade, this Panel has been the epitome of reliability, providing meticulous analyses, fact-based assessments, and invaluable recommendations that have ensured the effective implementation of Security Council resolutions against the nuclear proliferation activities of the DPRK.

The tireless efforts of the Panel in the last 15 years have been instrumental in assisting Member States in fulfilling their obligations under Security Council resolutions addressing the DPRK’s persistent and unlawful pursuits of weapons of mass destruction. Russia’s recent veto undermines the very foundation of these efforts, in turn destabilizing not only the global nonproliferation regime but the UN system in its entirety. Furthermore, Russia’s veto will significantly hamper the implementation of UN sanctions on the DPRK.

Vetoing initiatives aimed at shedding light on violations of international law impedes progress toward international peace and security and sets another dangerous precedent of shielding nations from accountability for their actions. This veto is a stark reminder of the current and dangerous challenges that we continue to face in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter and the rule of law in the international arena.

Contrary to Russia’s justification of the veto, the responsibility for the aggravation of the humanitarian crisis in the DPRK is not a consequence of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations. In light of the humanitarian exemption established by the 1718 Sanctions Committee, the international community is ready – and has always been ready – to provide humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people. Addressing humanitarian concerns must remain a paramount objective in achieving international peace and security.

Mr. President,

Italy emphasizes the urgency of DPRK’s complete, verifiable, and irreversible termination of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, in strict compliance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Therefore, we call on the Security Council to reconsider its position and extend the mandate of the DPRK Panel of Experts.

Despite the veto, the UN sanctions regime against the DPRK will remain in place as will the 1718 Committee that is responsible for its implementation: Italy reiterates its unwavering commitment to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure their full implementation addressing the DPRK’s illegal and destabilizing actions and ensuring peace and security in Northeast Asia and beyond.

I thank you, Mr President