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Assemblea Generale – Meeting di Alto Livello per la Commemorazione e la Promozione della Giornata Internazionale contro i Test Nucleari

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting di Alto Livello dell’Assemblea Generale per la Commemorazione e la Promozione della Giornata Internazionale contro i Test Nucleari —

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself to the statement to be delivered later by the EU and would like to make some additional remarks in its national capacity.

Mr. President,

This High-Level Meeting provides every year a fresh opportunity to increase the public’s awareness on the devastating effects of nuclear weapons and of nuclear testing on the environment and human life. It also allows us to further highlight the need for the cessation of any nuclear testing and to restate our commitment towards the ultimate goal of a peaceful and secure world, free of nuclear weapons.

It is a goal that, in our view, 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.

In this regard, while 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 the NPT has established. By banning “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion”, it counters, in fact, the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and helps preventing nuclear competition.

Regrettably, more than twenty years after its opening for signature, the CTBT has not yet entered into force. It has, however, achieved two very important goals: it has paved the way for a moratoria on nuclear tests, which we call on all States to maintain, and, through its related organization, the CTBTO, it has created a highly effective global verification regime, whose invaluable role in quickly providing trustworthy and independent data has been repeatedly demonstrated. 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. Fully supporting Algeria and Germany, 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 Article XIV Conference on 25 September as a further, important awareness-raising event.

In this spirit, we also urge the DPRK to give concrete proof of its asserted willingness to denuclearize, by engaging in credible and meaningful negotiations towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, by returning to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and by signing and ratifying the CTBT. From a technical point of view, we are of the view that the denuclearization process in the DPRK could also benefit 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 even prior to the entry into force of the treaty, so as to further improve its monitoring capacity and its ability to provide accurate data analysis. As a byproduct of the International Monitoring System (IMS), let me also stress the many benefits the international community can draw from the civil and scientific applications of its data, including for tsunami and volcanic ash cloud warning. An active collaboration between States Signatories and the Provisional Technical Secretariat is key not only to ensure the timely installation, certification and maintenance of IMS stations worldwide, but also the highest data availability and quality at all times and the continuous improvement of the CTBTO monitoring capacity.

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. Italy invites all partners to work closely together to build up political momentum, turn it into action and, eventually, into reality.

I thank you, Mr President.