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Sen. Benedetto della Vedova, Italy’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaks at the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament

On 28 February 2017 H.E. Mr. Benedetto Della Vedova, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, intervened during the High Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament (CD).

At the outset, Mr. Della Vedova stated Italy’s full commitment towards revitalizing the Conference on Disarmament’s work and preserving its role in the institutional framework of multilateral disarmament. In this regard, he expressed satisfaction with the recent institution of a “Way Ahead Working Group” (WAWG) aiming to find common ground and resume negotiations on the CD’s agenda items.

The Deputy Minister then emphasized the central role of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation processes, along with the firm belief that the “Global Zero” aim can be achieved only through a progressive approach that takes account of the imperatives of international security and stability, while being grounded on the awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use. . Such an approach involves the adoption of concrete and efficient measures, in relation to which the two resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly last December on the establishment of a High-level Experts Working Group on the production of fissile material for weapon use and on nuclear disarmament verification processes are particularly relevant.

Despite some reasons for serious concern in the international context– such as the DPRK’s missile and nuclear tests, strongly condemned by Mr. Della Vedova, and the increasing risk that weapons of mass destruction may fall into the hands of armed non-state actors, including terrorist groups – some encouraging signals can nevertheless be found. These are the result of the dialogue-based multilateral approach that Italy has traditionally supported and that also characterizes Italy’s role as non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council. In this context, Vice Minister Della Vedova recalled the 2015 nuclear agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme and the importance its continuous and full implementation, as well as last year’s positive conclusion of the review process on the regime established with UNSC Resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In conclusion, Mr. Della Vedova underlined Italy’s continuing commitment towards the full implementation of international instruments of disarmament and arms control relating to conventional weapons, and recalled Italy’s assistance programmes in support of States and populations affected by the plight of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. As President of the “Mine Action Support Group” for 2016-2017 – an informal forum involving the major mine action donor States – Italy has worked to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian demining operations through greater coordination among all relevant actors.