On 26 February, on the third anniversary of Stéphane Hessel’s death, Giovanna Pagani and Antonia Sani of WILPF Italy, took part at a press conference at the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Together with other members of the ‘exigent disarmists’, they laid claim to nuclear disarmament as a right of humanity.

At the event, Filiberto Zaratti (Left Ecology Freedom Party) and Roberto Cotti (5 Star Movement) reaffirmed that for the upcoming scheduled meetings – the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement on global warming (22 April in New York) and of the UN General Assembly (September –December 2016) – they will demand a serious commitment to nuclear disarmament by the Italian government. A commitment that must include the right to life of all humanity. “We must all be freed from the threat of global warming,” says the Charter that the French President François Hollande is bringing to the United Nations. However, there must also be a clear protection from nuclear threat, as indicated by the ‘motion Zaratti’ that the Chamber of Deputies approved last November.

The coming together of MP Zaratti and MP Cotti was significant in announcing a joint commitment to urge the Government to ratify and apply the Paris Agreement (the one approved at COP21 on 12 December 2015) with appropriate regulatory measures and with a new vision and policies for energy and peace.

Here it becomes important the deadline of the next UN General Assembly (September-December 2016) and the need to adopt the Charter proposed by President Hollande duly amended with reference to nuclear disarmament, as also voted by the Italian Parliament.

International law must move from condemning the use of nuclear weapons to condemning the possession of it, the so-called “deterrence”. The speakers present at the press conference – Alfonso Navarra, Giuseppe Bruzzone, Ennio La Malfa, Giovanna Pagani (WILPF) and Antonia Sani (WILPF) – confirmed that they are working to create the cultural base for this great legal progress and its practical consequences.

The Ambassador of Ecuador, also attending the press conference, intervened pointing out that on 15 December 2015, his country passed a resolution for outlawing nuclear weapons. At international conferences, Ecuador along with the other Latin American countries – already nuclear-free zone with the Tlatelolco Treaty – refers to nuclear disarmament as a “right.” Furthermore, the Ambassador reminded how Ecuador’s commitment to peace also implies recognising the rights of the Earth within the Constitution.

Giovanna Pagani and Antonia Sani highlighted the role of international civil society – in which women are the protagonists – for opening up the prospect of a ban on nuclear weapons. They reaffirmed the duty to demand nuclear disarmament as a right, not simply invoke it as a “need.” Ennio La Malfa from Kronos Academy also pointed out that there is a necessity to focus on the alternative between ‘war energy’ and ‘energy of peace.’

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Alfonso Navarra and Antonia Sani

Video of the press conference (in Italian)

To sign the petition of the right to disarmament (in Italian)

To sign the petition calling on the Italian Government to pursue total nuclear disarmament (in Italian)