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Minister Alfano – Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (UNGA)

I want to thank the United States for calling for today’s meeting.Almost 50 years ago, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. Thanks to collective efforts, the Non-Proliferation Treaty has become a pillar of our collective security. Over the course of the Treaty’s existence, Italy has been a champion of the Treaty. Non-proliferation is a fundamental good that the international community and the Security Council have to preserve. Collective security cannot be guaranteed without non-proliferation. It is important to have robust and effective implementation of international law. There should be accountability.The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has caused one of the biggest crises of our times. We have to stand firm and united in order to defend non-proliferation, which is a common good for all of us and a guarantee of peace, security, and stability. Italy condemned Pyongyang’s launching of a ballistic missile over Japan on 15 September, as well as all of North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests. With resolution 2375 (2017), the Council sent a clear and strong message: further attempts by the regime to defy the United Nations will backfire. If North Korea wants to step back from self-isolation, it must stop developing its missile and nuclear programme.A different story is that of Iran, which has moved in a positive direction regarding its own nuclear programme. The Iran nuclear deal has delivered gains for global security by imposing strict limits on Tehran’s nuclear programme. In return, we have lifted sanctions. It serves as a good example of effective diplomacy and smart sanctions. However, reaching the deal was just the beginning. Now we must continue to ensure that Iran does not stray off the path of nuclear non-proliferation.As the facilitator of resolution 2231 (2015), Italy will continue to foster the smooth implementation of that crucial resolution. We are concerned by Iran’s missile tests, which seem inconsistent with the spirit, if not the letter, of resolution 2231 (2015). That can exacerbate regional instability and put the progress made so far at risk.Unfortunately, we have seen no progress in Syria. To the contrary, we have witnessed the repeated use of chemical weapons against innocent people. That constitutes a horrific war crime. Their use by the regime and by Daesh must be stopped. Those found guilty of such war crimes have to be sanctioned accordingly. Therefore, we need to redouble our efforts to identify anyone who has played a role in the use of chemical weapons against the defenceless civilian population.I have a few more words on the use of sanctions. As Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006), on North Korea, Italy has focused on the concrete effectiveness of sanctions. It is important to monitor their implementation in order to get a precise picture of compliance by the sanctioned party and address weaknesses in the enforcement of sanctions. We have also placed emphasis on strengthening technical assistance and capacity-building, providing Member States with the necessary tools to implement the sanctions.Moreover, we have worked to increase political awareness of the sanctions framework. In order to achieve that goal, the Committee has intensified its outreach activities and has facilitated regular exchanges of information among Member States, the Committee and the Panel of Experts. So far, six outreach meetings have taken place for each United Nations regional group. We have already scheduled an open briefing for the entire United Nations membership on 9 October. Thanks to that outreach, an increasing number of States are now reporting to the Committee on the implementation of the sanctions. We are seeing the results of our joint work.At the same time, Italy is engaged with
our partners from the European Union to adopt resolution 2375 (2017), on North Korea, into our legal system as soon as possible and identify more autonomous, restrictive measures.To conclude, we want to ensure that the sanctions have an impact on the proliferation programmes of the regime. However, we also want to avoid negatively affecting the humanitarian situation because, as an international community, we care about the fate of the people of North Korea.

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