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Assemblea Generale – Giornata Internazionale contro i Test Nucleari

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting di Alto Livello dell’Assemblea Generale per celebrare e promuovere la Giornata Internazionale contro i Test Nucleari —

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself to the statement delivered by the EU and in its capacity as current CTBTO PrepCom Chair would like to make some additional remarks.

Mr. President,

Today’s High-Level Meeting provides the opportunity to renew the commitment towards the ultimate goal of a peaceful and secure world, free of nuclear weapons. Being aware of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons’ use, we are called to confirm our efforts for actual progress along the way conducive to nuclear disarmament.

Italy is convinced that the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons can be attained through a progressive approach, based on concrete and verifiable measures, aimed at enhancing mutual confidence and at increasing the perception of a solid international security. Such a process requires the substantive and constructive involvement of all relevant actors, in a perspective based on the search for consensus.

In this connection, if the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the overarching norm on which all nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures are based, the CTBT represents one of the pillars of the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation architecture established by the NPT, since, by banning “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion”, it counters the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and helps preventing nuclear competition.

More than twenty years after the opening for its signature anddespite the fact that is not entering into force, the CTBT has achieved two very important goals: it has paved the way for a moratoria on nuclear tests that has been implemented by all Countries in the world but one, and, through its related organization, the CTBTO, it has created a highly effective and fully reliable global verification regime, whose invaluable role in quickly providing trustworthy and independent data has been repeatedly demonstrated on the occasion of the nuclear tests unfortunately conducted in 2017.

But progress along the way towards disarmament and non-proliferation requires that the current voluntary moratoria on nuclear test explosions be translated into a binding norm, through the entering into force of the CTBT.

Mr President,

Italy has always been a staunch supporter of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and, is deeply honored to hold the chairmanship of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in 2018. Fully supporting Belgium and Iraq, the co-coordinators of the Article XIV process, in their efforts to advance the Treaty’s cause, Italy joins their plea to all States that have not yet done so and, in particular, to the remaining eight Annex-2 States, to sign and ratify the Treaty. We hope that UN Security Council resolution 2310, which Italy co-sponsored, may actually encourage further ratifications and we look forward to the upcoming Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT on 27 September as a further, important awareness-raising event in this respect.

In this spirit, after a deeply troubling 2017, we also welcome the statement by the DPRK about its interest “to join the international desire and efforts for the total halt of nuclear tests”. We hope that such declaration may soon lead to concrete steps towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we urge the DPRK to prove its actual willingness to engage in credible and meaningful negotiations by returning to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (and by signing and ratifying the CTBT. From a purely technical point of view, the denuclearization process could benefit also from the CTBTO’s expertise.

At the same time, we call on the international community to keep supporting the completion of the CTBT verification regime, so as to ensure the continuous improvement of its monitoring capacity. An active collaboration between States Signatories and the Provisional Technical Secretariat is key to ensure the timely installation, certification and maintenance of International Monitoring System stations worldwide.

Mr President,

The current threats to global peace and security make it more pressing than ever to renew all efforts towards the universalization and ultimate entry into force of the CTBT. Our shared commitment is crucial to reach this goal. Each and every country has a role to play. As current CTBTO PrepCom Chair, Italy invites all partners to work closely together to turn political momentum into action and, eventually, into reality.

Thank you, Mr President.