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Assemblea Generale – Dibattito Generale della Prima Commissione

Discorso pronunciato dal Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso La Conferenza sul Disarmo, Ambasciatore Gianfranco Incarnato, al Dibattito Generale della Prima Commissione – 73ma Assemblea Generale —

Mr. Chair,

Allow me to begin by congratulating you on your appointment, and to assure you of my Delegation’s full support.

Italy aligns itself with the statement of the European Union, and will add the following remarks in its national capacity. A full version of this statement will be available online.

Mr. Chair,

A rules-based international system and effective multilateralism are of utmost importance to identify solutions to global challenges and threats to international peace and security. In this regard, the UN disarmament machinery and its three mutually reinforcing fora remain central and irreplaceable.

We welcome the establishment of five subsidiary bodies by the Conference on Disarmament early this year, and the adoption of four substantive reports resulting from their work, which we hope will provide a solid basis to build on in 2019. We regret, however, that the Final CD Report does not reflect these substantive discussions.

Mr. Chair,

Italy shares the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with its three mutually reinforcing pillars, remains the key instrument, and provides the only realistic legal framework to attain a world without nuclear weapons. Such a goal can be solely achieved through a progressive approach based on effective measures, in accordance with Article VI of the Treaty.

Among these, the prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is one key priority. We call on all States that have not yet done so, particularly the remaining Annex-2 States, to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay.

The immediate commencement of negotiations within the CD of a Treaty dealing with fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices is also crucial. We welcome the report of the High Level Expert Preparatory Group established by UNGA Resolution 71/259 and are confident that its work will provide fruitful input for negotiations of an FMCT within the CD.

We would also like to recall the potential of Negative Security Assurances. We continue to support the possible elaboration within the CD of recommendations dealing with all aspects of NSAs, not excluding an internationally legally binding instrument.

Italy also values all initiatives undertaken in the field of nuclear disarmament verification. We support the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification and welcome the beginning of the work of the GGE to consider the role of verification in advancing nuclear disarmament, as per GA Resolution 71/67, that Italy co-sponsored.

We also reiterate our support for the convening of a Conference on the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction – to be attended by all States of the region on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by them.

We express satisfaction that the Russian Federation and the United States met the central limits of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in February 2018, and encourage them to extend the Treaty. We also underline the importance of preserving the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) as a landmark agreement that remains key to European and international security and stability.

Mr. Chair,

Italy welcomes the positive developments on the DPRK in the first half of 2018. We hope that these may lead to an open and constructive dialogue, aimed to fulfil our common goal of a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The JCPoA remains key in international efforts to strengthen non-proliferation. The international community needs to remain committed to its full and effective implementation, as long as Iran continues to strictly abide by its nuclear-related commitments. We welcome the IAEA’s confirmation of Iran’s compliance with such commitments in 12 successive reports. We also reiterate the importance of the full and effective implementation of Resolution 2231. We are determined to cooperate with all interested stakeholders to preserve the JCPoA and fully support efforts undertaken by the European Union in this respect, as well as current work towards a legal entity allowing European companies to continue their legitimate trade with Iran.

Mr. Chair,

Italy strongly supports the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW, and reaffirms the need for full compliance with the 1925 Geneva Protocol. We are deeply concerned by the repeated use of chemical weapons in recent months. We reiterate our condemnation of such use by anyone, anywhere, and under any circumstances.

The international community must ensure accountability and continue to take a clear stance against impunity for such heinous crimes. In this spirit, Italy actively participates in the Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. We also welcome the June 2018 Decision of the Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC, which enhances the capacity of the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Italy remains deeply concerned by the increasing risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-state actors, particularly in relation to terrorist acts. We support the strengthening of the 1540 Committee mechanism to increase national capacities in the implementation of non-proliferation measures, and welcome the positive outcome of the Review of the UN Resolution 1540 regime, as embodied in UN Security Council resolution 2325.

Mr. Chair,

Italy is fully committed to international efforts to address the humanitarian, socio-economic, and security impacts of conventional weapons, and is particularly concerned by the indiscriminate impacts of anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions, especially on civilians.

We actively support the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its Protocols, the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. We attach great importance to their universalization, to full compliance with their provisions, and to the development of any possible synergy among them.

Convinced of the importance of international cooperation and assistance for the full and effective implementation of these instruments, we continue to devote material, technical and financial resources to the implementation of comprehensive mine action programs. We are also particularly engaged in promoting integrated, inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches to victim assistance.

Mr. Chair,

We are firmly committed to the long-term sustainability, safety and security of the space environment and believe that a comprehensive and effective international regulatory environment should be elaborated and put in place.

Italy appreciates the important work by the COPUOS Working Group on Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.

We also remain fully committed to preventing an arms race in outer space and to preventing outer space from becoming an area of conflict as essential conditions to strengthen strategic stability.

Italy supports developing norms and principles of responsible State behavior in cyberspace, in conformity with existing international law, as well as the promotion of confidence-building measures, international cooperation and capacity-building to improve cyber security, promote a free and open cyberspace, and decrease the risk of disputes among States in this field. We reaffirm our commitment to improving stability in cyberspace and call on the UN Secretary General to convene a new GGE in 2019, building upon the work of the previous GGE.

I thank you.