I congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of this important body and on convening this timely open debate. I also thank our colleagues of the 1540 Committee and the Group of Experts for their excellent work to facilitate the Comprehensive review of UNSCR 1540.
Italy aligns itself with the statement [to be] delivered by the European Union and with the EU Report supporting the full and universal implementation of Resolution 1540. I would like to make a few remarks in a national capacity.
Italy is concerned by the proliferation risks posed by non-state actors, who are increasingly taking advantage of new technologies, scientific development and international trade networks. All Member States, international organisations and institutions should constantly update their response to these developments by improving transfer controls for sensitive materials and enhancing the role of ICTs and social media in countering terrorist narratives.
On traditional tools of review, we welcome the increase in national reports and Voluntary National Implementation Action Plans. Member States should set an example of cooperation and concrete implementation of UNSCR 1540 for States that have not yet submitted their first report.
While reaffirming our commitment to create the conditions for a safer world, we are glad to recall that last year Italy deposited the instrument of ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. Significant progress has also been made on the ratification of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Cooperation between Member States and the 1540 Committee should be enhanced. An increasing number of States invite the Committee to conduct visits together with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, another positive signal of States’ commitment in this field. Let me recall, in this regard, this Committee’s visit to my Country last year.
Education, training and institutional capacity building are essential to effective implementation of the resolution.
In the nuclear field, Italy promoted the Nuclear Security Summit Gift Basket on “Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres,” in support of the work of the Centres of Excellence in enhancing nuclear security worldwide. Every year we organise the International School on Nuclear Security at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, which trains professionals from third countries in the international legal framework on nuclear security.
To counter the risk of the proliferation of chemical weapons, Italy has conducted several chemical security programmes in collaboration with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), whose inspectors are often trained at Italian CBRN Defence Centres. Italian chemical industries participate widely in the OPCW Associate Programme, training experts from other countries in various industrial operations in order to facilitate industry-related implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Italy made its contribution to the joint UN/OPCW multilateral operation that safely and securely transported and destroyed Syrian chemical agents, providing the UN-OPCW Joint Mission with in-kind and financial assistance. Finally, we made a voluntary contribution to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe project on regional implementation of UNSCR 1540, concerning the “Comprehensive Review of Chemical Safety and Security in Ukraine”.
Bearing this in mind, Italy believes it would be appropriate to continue to focus on four points:
1. By reinstating its commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1540, Italy would like to invite those States who have not yet submitted their first national report to do so as soon as possible;
2. Capacity-building initiatives in States that lack the necessary means by should be supported by providing the Committee with appropriate technical, human and financial resources;
3. The active involvement of all stakeholders - such as private sector, civil society, national parliaments and academia - should be encouraged in the implementation of UNSCR 1540, while multilateral and multi-level cooperation with governments and international and regional organisations should be supported. Cooperation with industry representatives would strengthen controls on dual-use materials transfers;
4. Border controls and the protection of sensitive materials and goods exports are key tools for fighting the proliferation, smuggling and trafficking of WMDs. The EU export control regulation, which is legally binding and directly applicable to all Member States, is a valuable example of border control policy aimed at curbing illegal trafficking.
Italy reiterates its support for a renewed commitment by the Security Council to preventing and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The implementation of UNSCR 1540 is a long-term task that requires regular updates and sharing of best practices. Italy remains fully committed to further enhancing it by participating constructively in all relevant international organizations and initiatives, as well as through an active engagement of Italian industry, civil society and academia.
Thank you, Mr. President.