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UNGA76: Italy’s Stefanile reaffirms commitment to world without nuclear weapons

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 7 – Addressing the First Committee of the General Assembly Italy reaffirmed its firm commitment for a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. “Effective multilateralism and a rules-based international system remain the only tools to preserve the results achieved in the field of peace and international security and to further advance relevant processes”, said the deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, stressing that the NPT, with its three mutually reinforcing pillars, remains the cornerstone of the international regime as it provides the only realistic legal framework to attain a world without nuclear weapons, in a way that promotes international stability and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all.

The First Committee deals specifically on issues of disarmament and international security, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.

“Only through an inclusive and progressive approach, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, can the goal of a nuclear weapon free world be achieved”, said Stefanile adding that nuclear weapon States bear fundamental responsibilities and Italy encourages them to seek further reductions in their nuclear arsenals.

A main priority for Italy remains the prompt entry into force of the CTBT. As a staunch supporter of the CTBT, and in line with its role as Article XIV co-Coordinator for the upcoming two-year period, Italy urges all States that have not yet done so, in particular the remaining eight Annex-2 States, to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, and, in the meantime, to respect the moratorium on nuclear test explosions.

In his message to the Committee, Stefanile touched issues such as the Iranian nuclear program and repeated ballistic missile launches, including the most recent ones by the DPRK, as something that undermine regional and international peace and security and are a matter of serious concern. Italy remains strongly committed to supporting the Chemical Weapons Convention and the work of the OPCW and firmly condemns the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Air Force. A passage of the speech mentioned concerns for the poisoning of Alexey Nalvalny in Russia in August 2020 urging the Russian Federation to transparently clarify the responsibility of the incident and to cooperate with the OPCW on the issue.

In the light of the COVID 19 pandemic, Stefanile attached great importance to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, as a fundamental component of the disarmament architecture. Italy is extremely concerned for the indiscriminate humanitarian and socio-economic impacts of anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war, as well as IEDs. With regard to countering illicit arm transfers, Stefanile called for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty and for its full implementation. Last but not least, outer space and cybersecurity: In this vein, Italy is in favour of the proposal to establish a Programme of Action on advancing responsible behaviour in cyberspace. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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