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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Italian Statement, May 12, 1999

Statement from Giuseppe Balbom Acqua

12 MAY 1999

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Mr. Chairman,

May I begin by congratulating you on your appointment to chair this Committee and recalling the friendly relations Italy enjoys with your country. I would also like to voice our sincere appreciation for your skills in presiding over our works which gives a guarantee for a successful outcome.

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Fully sharing the views expressed by Germany on behalf of the European Union, Italy wants to underline the importance it attaches to disarmament and non-proliferation which are the central components of its security policy. The progress made in implementing the NPT can be supported and complemented by other international organizations and fora: in particular the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva is an appropriate forum for dealing with multilateral disarmament issues. With Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Norway we proposed an initiative last February in Geneva to establish an Ad Hoc Working Group on "ways and means of establishing an exchange of information and views within the Conference on endeavors towards nuclear disarmament". We are convinced that nuclear disarmament issues concern all countries. It is the interest of the international community that nuclear-weapons States pursue systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of their elimination. Together with the above mentioned countries, we wish to recall the issue of security assurances, as mentioned in the decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.

Mr. Chairman

Nuclear non-proliferation is an issue of major concern and goes hand in hand with a constructive process of nuclear disarmament, toward the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament. We have to comply with the legitimate concern of the States party to the NPT with regard to their security needs, and work for an international framework that could assure those parties to the Treaty that are non-nuclear-weapons States against the use of such weapons. Further steps on this way should be identified and could take the form of a legally binding instrument. The Treaty on the Non Proliferation of the nuclear weapons is the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and the fundamental tool for ensuring international peace and security. The Treaty opens the way to a nuclear weapons free world and the Principles an Objectives recognize the legitimate interests of non-nuclear-weapons States parties to the NPT to receive security assurances against the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons. Some important steps in this field have already been undertaken by the nuclear-weapons States, recognized also by the United Nations Security Council. However, considering that until nuclear disarmament has not been achieved on a universal basis, it is important for the international community to develop measures and arrangements to ensure the security of non-nuclear-weapon States. Building upon the security assurances enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolution 984 and in the relevant declarations of the nuclear-weapons States, efforts should be devoted to proceed further on this way.

Mr. Chairman,

Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Italy, resolutely committed to a positive outcome of the 2000 Review Conference, affirm their interest and their will in actively working on all aspects of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including security assurances.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.