Italy: Signature of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Action type
Government of the United Kingdom
28 January 1969
The Italian Government, in signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, wish to confirm the statements made on the Treaty in various international fora and approved by the Italian Parliament in the debate that took place during the second half of July and at the end of August, 1968. On the basis of the above mentioned statements the Italian Government:
1 - reaffirm their firm belief that the Treaty - for which the Italian Government have made for years all possible efforts with a view to its early conclusion - is a milestone on the road to disarmament, international detente and peace, and represents a fundamental contribution for the establishment of a new international society based on security of peoples and on the progress of humanity;
2 - stress their persuasion that the principles set forth in the clauses of the Preamble to the Treaty on the engagement of signatories, in accordance with the UN Charter, to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or the political independence of any State, are an intransgressible presupposition of the Treaty itself, and that a scrupulous and general respect for such principles constitutes a supreme interest for all;
3 - consider the Treaty not as a point of arrival, but only as a point of departure towards negotiations on disarmament, on peaceful use of nuclear energy and on benefits deriving from the peaceful use of nuclear energy which the Treaty itself takes into consideration for its natural completion and for its effective execution;
4 - sign the Treaty in the firm belief that nothing in it is an obstacle to the unification of the Countries of Western Europe and to the justified expectations that the peoples of this area have in the developments and progress towards unity with a view to the creation of a European entity;
5 - are convinced that the purposes of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are consistent with the provisions of the Treaty of Rome on EURATOM;
6 - note the full compatibility of the Treaty with the existing security agreements;
7 - note that the needs of freedom of scientific and technological research - that cannot be derogated from - are in no way hindered by the Treaty;
8 - note that the prohibitions in Articles I and II of the Treaty - also in the general spirit of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation - refer only to nuclear explosive devices that cannot be differentiated from nuclear weapons;  and consequently that when technological progress will allow the development of peaceful explosive devices differentiated from nuclear weapons, the prohibition relating to their manufacture and use shall no longer apply;
9 - with reference to the provisions of Article III, paragraph 4, of the Treaty, express the hope that the agreements in the matter of controls foreseen in it will be reached between the IAEA and EURATOM on the basis of the concept of verification. Pending the conclusion of the Agreement between IAEA and EURATOM, the understandings reached on the matter of supplies between EURATOM and the Governments which have signed the Treaty will remain in force;
10 - note that in the letter and in the spirit of the Treaty the controls provided for in Article III of the Treaty are applicable only to source and special fissionable material. Consider that the words "source" and "special fissionable material" used in the Treaty should be understood - unless modifications are expressly accepted by Italy - in the meaning defined in the present text of Article XX of the Statute of IAEA;
11 - interpret the provisions of Article IX, paragraph 3, of the Treaty relating to the definition of a nuclear weapon State, in the sense that it refers only to the five Countries that have manufactured or exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device before 1st January, 1967.  Any claim to belong to this category, and for any title, shall not be recognized by the Italian Government to other States, whether or not they have signed the Treaty;
12 - state here and now that the signature and ratification of the Treaty by the Government of a Union of States covers the signature and ratification that might be carried out by the Governments of States members of the said Union:  the Italian Government therefore would not recognize legal effects to the latter signature and ratification. To integrate the above mentioned statements the Italian Government attach to the present Note the texts of the ordini del giorni on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, approved by the Italian Senate and the Italian Chamber of Deputies on the 19th and 26th July, 1968.
Agenda approved by the Senate of the [Italian] Republic on 19 July, 1968
"The Senate, having heard the Government's statements on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; conscious of the threat which nuclear weapons constitute mankind; convinced that without universal nuclear disarmament there is no certainty that mankind will be spared the horrors of a nuclear war; trusts that all the nuclear-weapon Powers will agree to the general and effective discontinuance of nuclear weapon tests and of the production of new nuclear weapons and the progressive destruction of existing stockpiles at an early date;  considers that the implementation of disarmament by means of the destruction of existing stockpiles should be followed by the limitation of conventional weapons under strict control so as to make it impossible to resort to war as a means of settling disputes between States;  lends its own support to the Government's decision to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and directs it to act in such a manner that the obligations assumed by the nuclear-weapon Powers in respect of nuclear disarmament may be implemented as soon as possible as the first step towards general and complete disarmament; likewise directs the Government to ensure that the implementation of the Treaty secures the balance between responsibilities and obligations for the nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon Powers envisaged in the UN resolution, so that the non-nuclear-weapon Powers are assured of the right to fair supplies of source and special fissionable materials, of the right to unrestricted scientific and technical  information and in general of effective equality between States in the sphere of the application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes Having considered Italy's obligations under the Treaty of Rome and the value of the policy of European unification, calls upon the Government to act in agreement with the other members of the European Communities in such a way that the existence and development of the European Communities may be safeguarded during the implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty."
Agenda approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 26 July, 1968
"The Chamber, having heard the Government's statements on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; convinced that any approach to general disarmament and nuclear disarmament in particular can be of use for the maintenance of peace in the world; considering that adherence to the Treaty by a large number of non-nuclear-weapon States may lead to appropriate negotiations for the cessation of the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament; authorizes the Government to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Directs the Government itself to ensure that:
1) the obligations assumed by the nuclear-weapon Powers in respect of nuclear disarmament are swiftly implemented;
2) the non-nuclear-weapon Powers are assured of supplies, on non-discriminatory conditions, of source and special fissionable materials for peace purposes, within the meaning laid down by the Statute of the IAEA, and also the right to unrestricted scientific and technical information;
3) it avails itself of the right of initiative provided for in Article VIII of the Treaty in order that all the States acceding thereto may achieve effective equality in participation in the control and peaceful development of nuclear energy;
4) all such initiatives are taken as are most suitable for the attainment of these objectives on the occasion, too, of the conference of non-nuclear-weapon States which will open under the auspices of the United Nations at Geneva in August 1968. Such assurances may well be obtained by means of additional agreements and explanatory declarations signed by as many countries as possible;  and calls upon the Government to act in agreement with the other Member-States of the European Communities to ensure that, when the Treaty is implemented, the existence and development of the European Communities is safeguarded, the possibility of collective control over nuclear weapons is guarantied and an agreement concerning safeguards is concluded between EURATOM and the IAEA."
The above statement was confirmed on ratification on 2 May, 1975.
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