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General Assembly – High-level Meeting

Statement by Italy at the General Assembly High-level Meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests —

Madame President,

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

Madame President,

This High-Level Meeting provides us with the opportunity to increase the public’s awareness – as well as our own – on the devastating effects of nuclear weapons and of nuclear testing on human life and the environment. It also allows us to further stress the need for putting an end to all nuclear testing and to restate our commitment towards the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, especially in the light of the widespread threats to peace and stability characterizing the world as it is today.

Such a goal, in our view, can be attained through a progressive approach, based on concrete and verifiable measures, aimed at enhancing mutual confidence and at increasing international security and stability. It is a process that requires the substantive and constructive involvement of all relevant actors, with a consensus-based approach.

In this regard, while the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty represents the overarching norm on which all nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures are based, the CTBT is one of the pillars of the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation architecture established by the NPT. By banning “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion”, the CTBT operates in such a way that, in fact, the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons as well as nuclear competition are discouraged.

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 in the latest years. 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.

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.

We also urge the DPRK to finally engage in credible and meaningful negotiations towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, by adhering to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and by signing and ratifying the CTBT.

In conclusion, Madame President, while commending the CTBTO’s commitment to the continuity of the verification regime despite the current, extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, let me stress how the increasing threats to global peace and security make it more necessary than ever to renew all efforts towards the universalization and ultimate entry into force of the CTBT. Italy invites all partners to work closely together to build up political momentum, turn it into action and, eventually, into reality.

Thank you, Madame President.