Let me first of all join previous speakers in expressing Italy’s deep condolences to the Government and People of Nepal for the immense tragedy that took the lives of so many people.
Allow me also to offer my sincere congratulations on your election as President of this Review Conference. Please, rest assured of my delegation’s full support and cooperation throughout the next four weeks.
Let me also recall that Italy fully endorses the statement that will be delivered by the High Representative on behalf of the EU. Furthermore, I wish to draw your attention to the G7 declaration on disarmament and non-proliferation recently issued at the Lűbeck Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Having said that, I shall limit myself to additional remarks.
As a candidate to a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2017-18 term, Italy will engage to advance the disarmament agenda at the UN, as we have consistently been doing in all multilateral fora, including the G7 and the E.U..
Italy is committed to achieve a successful outcome of this Conference based on consensus. The 2010 Action Plan remains, in our view, a valid benchmark upon which we should build our future deliberations.
Since the last Review Conference, the Italian contribution to the goal of a safer world for all without nuclear weapons, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, has taken different forms.
First, on the so called humanitarian campaign, Italy shares the utmost concern about the catastrophic consequences associated with nuclear weapons use. Therefore, we believe that an effective, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament has to be pursued through a step by step approach. In this vein, Italy is contributing constructively to the current debate by organizing a workshop to examine this topic under the lens of the international law. The workshop, entitled “Nuclear Weapons and Human Security”, will be held at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, in Sanremo, on 18th of June.
Second, Italy has been member of the Group of Governmental Experts on a Treaty Banning the production of fissile material. We welcome its final report, proving, once again, that this subject is ripe for a prompt start of negotiations at the Conference of Disarmament.
Moreover, Italy strongly supports the launch of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, as an innovative initiative involving both Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapon States, and intends to be fully engaged in it by making available all its relevant expertise.
We are indeed convinced that verification and safeguards are crucial cross-cutting elements for an effective implementation of the Treaty. For this reason, Italy eagerly contributes to CTBT’s International Monitoring System and fully supports the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards system, including by developing the State-level Concept.
Italy welcomes the agreement on the key elements of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that has been reached between the P5+1 and Iran in Lausanne. Looking forward to its finalization, we consider crucial the IAEA’s role, both in monitoring the implementation of a comprehensive final agreement and in dealing with the Possible Military Dimensions (PMDs) of the Iranian nuclear program. We value the importance of nuclear-weapons-free zones for peace and security. In this regard, we are committed to the process towards a conference on the establishment of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East. Convinced that the Conference on the Free Zone should stay among our main common objectives, we believe that the primary responsibility rests with the countries in the region.
We are equally committed to the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We supported the adoption of both a renewed EU Directive, in 2014, and the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety, last February. I am also glad to announce that, last week, the Italian Parliament has authorized the ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Furthermore, as a follow-up to our participation in the Nuclear Security Summit process, we are organizing a high-level event dedicated to “The Nuclear Security Summit 2016 and Beyond: the Role of Training and Support Centres, and Centres of Excellence”, to be held in Bologna on 7-8 May 2015.
Over the last few years, we have increased our attention to education, training, as well as academics and scientists’ contribution to the objectives of the Treaty. In 2010, in cooperation with the IAEA, we launched the International School on Nuclear Security in Trieste, which provides professionals with knowledge of the international legal framework on nuclear security and raises awareness on illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material. Moreover, last March, we devoted the annual Amaldi Conference to “The International Cooperation for Enhancing Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and Non-proliferation”, where scientists and experts had the opportunity to present a wide-range of approaches to this subject.
In addition, we remain committed to our national programmes for the decommissioning of nuclear plants and the management of radioactive waste. Italy and the United States of America have jointly completed the removal of a significant amount of excess highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium from Italy and plan to uphold this endeavor.
To conclude, I am pleased to mention some successful examples of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in my country. I am referring, firstly, to the TAPIRO fast neutron source research reactor, which plays a strategic role in different fields, such as basic nuclear physics, fission, fusion and aerospace programs. Secondly, to the contribution in terms of expert training courses and experimental activities provided by ENEA, through its Marine Environment Laboratory in Santa Teresa, to the IAEA “Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre”. Finally, to the synchrotron accelerator at National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy, in Pavia, used to produce proton and carbon ion beams for the precise and specific treatment for different kinds of tumors resistant to conventional radiotherapy or requiring a selective release of energy.
I am confident that, under your guide, we will be able to deliver the results that everybody is expecting from this conference.
I thank you.