September 16, 2019
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 In Nuclear Disarmament and Emerging Nuclear States

Country: Italy
Delegate Name: Krishna Mano

United Nations Disarmament & International Security Committee
Nuclear Disarmament and Emerging Nuclear States
Italy
Krishna Mano
City High Middle School

The risk of an international nuclear conflict remains to be a pressing, if not pivotal, issue in the status quo. As defined by the United Nations, Nuclear Disarmament “is the best protection against” the dangerous effects of nuclear weapons on the environment and society. It is imperative for the committee to address increasing nuclear tensions and, more importantly, ask how to decrease these hostilities and enmities that lead to devastating nuclear wars with irreversible impacts. While a global conflict involving nuclear weapons may seem unlikely, when we take the current conflicts around the world into consideration, these risks are only growing with Matthew Bunn, an advisor to former President Clinton, estimating in regards of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in a 2022 NPR interview, that there’s a “10 to 20 percent likelihood that Russia might use a nuke.” Bunn continues to say that “while that’s a pretty low probability for most things in life, when it comes to nuclear weapons, it is intolerably high.” Looking at the consequences of a nuclear conflict between the U.S. and Russia, which together hold more than 90% of the world’s official nuclear stockpile, the LA Times estimated in 2022 that “5 billion people worldwide would die.” Italy, especially, deeply cares to prevent conflicts like the one described above. As a European nation, we have joined and led many alliances like the UN, NATO, and the EU, to ensure that our neighboring countries have reliable protection against nuclear weapons.

Over the years, Italy has taken many steps to support nuclear disarmament and, therefore, set a good example for emerging nuclear states to emphasize the need for peace during these hostile times. On a national level, we do not possess nor produce any nuclear weapons. We have been transparent about hosting 40 B61 nuclear bombs for the US on our air bases, one of our duties as a key member of NATO. When looking at our nuclear disarmament accomplishments from an international perspective, we began with ratifying the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, aiming “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament,” in 1969 and strongly affirming our support for other treaties with similar goals since then. A recent example is the Arms Trade Treaty, a treaty that establishes global standards for the international trade in conventional weapons by encouraging members to trade conventional arms transparently and shutting down illicit markets. Italy was the first EU member to sign it in September in 2013, motioning for neighboring states to join us in the global journey to peace. We also greatly helped when drafting the treaty, choosing the most inclusive words and sections to make it a successful step on this journey. However, Italy has joined the U.S. to refrain from treaties that we deem to be too irrational and extreme for the hostile status quo, like the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

When we are all divided by conflicts occurring throughout the world from East Europe to the Middle East, it is essential for us to not just acknowledge, but also take prompt action against the growing threats of nuclear weapon use. Italy strongly urges the United Nations to further support limiting the use of nuclear weapons whenever possible, but asks that all delegates consider the extremities of banning nuclear weapons all together, especially when nuclear-possessing countries with hostile intent have refused to join such treaties. When seeking global peace, the crucial step is to modify existing treaties and craft new ones to keep up with the ever-growing field of nuclear weapons.

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