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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Cluster 3 Italy, May 1999

Cluster 3

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Mr. Chairman,

Italy fully supports the statement made by the German Presidency of the E.U. on Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy.

Italy, currently holding the chairmanship of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is pleased to

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report that, in accordance with the decision taken by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference to improve transparency in nuclear-related export controls within a framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested States party to the Treaty (Principle 17 of the Principles and Objectives), the NSG has taken significant steps to increase transparency in its activities.

The first step was the publication in 1997 of a collective paper on the origins, role and activities of the NSG (distributed as IAEA INFCIRCI539). The collective paper explains that the NSG Guidelines aim to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to proliferation of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices without hindering international trade and co-operation in the nuclear field.

The implementation of the Guidelines underpin the development of trade in this area by providing means whereby obligations to facilitates peaceful nuclear co-operation can be implemented in a manner consistent with international nuclear non-proliferation's norms. The NSG Guidelines are thus consistent with, and complement, the various international legally binding instruments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation.

A second step was the organisation of an international seminar on the role of export controls in nuclear non-proliferation in Vienna on October 1997, chaired by Mr Abdul Minty, South African Governor to the IAEA. All members of the U.N. as well as experts from international organisations and academic and industry specialist were invited.

On the basis of the dialogue started in Vienna a third step was undertaken with another international seminar on the role of the export controls in nuclear non-proliferation that took place in New York on 8-9 April 1999, chaired by Mr. Hans Blix, IAEA Emeritus Director General. The Seminar was well attended with representatives from NPT and non NPT countries and participation of international organisations (e.g. IAEA and CTBTO) and intergovernmental organisations (Wassenaar Arrangement). Speakers were drawn from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds so that debate could cover a wide spectrum of views. By bringing together a large group of suppliers and recipients of nuclear material and equipment to exchange information, the seminar was able to clari~ a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings about how export controls function. The seminars, aimed to promote a genuine, open and all inclusive dialogue stressing how suppliers and recipients can deal constructively in evaluating the legitimacy and effectiveness of nuclear export controls as a contribution to nuclear nonproliferation promoting meanwhile nuclear trade.

The NSG does not see these seminars as the end of the transparency activities. Transparency in nuclear related export controls should be promoted among all interested states in order to allow all the parties to the Treaty to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Nuclear Suppliers Group controls, while reinforce the international security environment, in nothing affect the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, products and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

There was large support from all the NSG governments for extending the dialogue and holding further events where different points of view can be brought together. There are various plans for additional transparency activities including the possible creation of a web site. In view of the 2000 NPT Review Conference and in response to "Objectives and Principles", NSG countries intend to prepare a comprehensive report on the transparency activities.

Italy will be glad to present this report to the 2000 Review Conference, with a view to promoting transparency of NSG activities.

Thank You Mr. Chairman