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Italy: Foreign Affairs Committee compels government to review participation at MSP

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“We are satisfied with this historic result in favour of Italy’s commitment to nuclear disarmament”, say ICAN Partners Senzatomica and the Italian Network for Peace and Disarmament in response to the passage in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of a resolution which compels the government to take concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament and the contents of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The resolution emphasises that nuclear weapons still pose a serious threat to humanity today and that it is therefore essential to continue efforts to reduce them with the goal of their definitive elimination.

With the document, first signed by Laura Boldrini (but also signed by MPs Delrio, De Micheli, Fassino, La Marca, Palazzotto, Quartapelle Procopio, Ehm, Migliore and Emiliozzi), Parliament provides the government with clear requests and feasible indications to pursue concrete paths towards global and definitive nuclear disarmament: an objective that all recent Italian governments have confirmed as a priority.

After a debate lasting a few weeks, a text was approved that not only calls for nuclear disarmament in general, but also indicates to the government how it can be achieved within the framework of the path identified by the TPNW Treaty, which arose from the ‘Humanitarian Initiative’ of international civil society. Even if Italy has so far decided, like all NATO allies, to remain outside the path that is involving dozens of countries around the world, it is important to have a convergence with the practical and concrete contents proposed by the Treaty and a positive debate with all the states that are putting nuclear disarmament at the centre of their political action.

Italy can and must deploy the best part of its resources to build nuclear disarmament, as underlined in the operative part of the Resolution, which commits the Government “to continue to evaluate, in this context, compatibly with the obligations undertaken in the Atlantic Alliance and with the orientation of the other Allies, possible actions to approach the contents of the TPNW Treaty, in particular with regard to actions of ‘Assistance to victims and environmental rehabilitation’ considering Italy’s great humanitarian tradition and as provided for in Article VI of the same Treaty”.

“As long as there are nuclear weapons, there will always be a risk that they will be used,” says Daniele Santi, President of Senzatomica. “The declarations of Russian governance regarding the war in Ukraine have unequivocally shown the true face of nuclear deterrence as an instrument of blackmail that places humanity on the brink of catastrophe. The only way to prevent their use is their total elimination and to achieve this there is now an instrument: the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Never before has it been so necessary to pursue a policy of nuclear disarmament and de-escalation of conflicts between the superpowers. There are almost 13,000 nuclear warheads in the world, 40 of which are on Italian territory. We have reached a crucial point in the efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, a goal longed for by many generations around the world starting with the hibakusha, the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The TPNW is indispensable to protect the peace of humanity as a whole“.

“Only by remembering our humanity and deciding on a serious and concrete path of global nuclear disarmament will the world be able to stop basing an ephemeral idea of security on the possibility of destroying entire cities and millions of people in a few minutes” emphasises Lisa Clark, responsible for nuclear disarmament at the Italian Peace and Disarmament Network and coordinator of Mayors for Peace in Italy.

The opportunity to achieve this result is represented by the First Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to be held in Vienna from 21 to 23 June. The ‘Italy, think again’ campaign supported by Senzatomica and the Italian Network for Peace and Disarmament (Italian partner organisations of ICAN, the international campaign for the prohibition of nuclear weapons that won the Nobel Prize in 2017) calls on the government to make a decision along these lines, echoing the vote of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, which commits the cabinet to “consider, in consultation with the Allies, the possibility of participating as an ‘observer country’ at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) (… ) taking into account the participation of the Governments of NATO countries, such as Norway and Germany”.

This article was re-posted with permission from Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo.

(Image: Vlad Lesnov, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52990589)