Tag Archives: NATO

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence on the Italian contribution to the fight against ISIL/Daesh

JOINT COMMISSIONS III AND IV OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES AND 3rd AND 4th OF THE SENATE (FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE), XVII LEGISLATURE, 21st MEETING, 6 OCTOBER 2015.

On 6 October 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, and the Minister of Defence, Ms Roberta Pinotti, delivered two statements before the Joint Commissions of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the Parliament. Mr Gentiloni started by illustrating the foreign policy of Italy with particular regard to the Mediterranean and Middle East areas. In this context, he recalled the role played by Italy in the fight against ISIL/Daesh. He stated:

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A statement of the Undersecretary of State for Defence on the operations of biometric data capture by the Italian Armed Forces abroad

SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 4th PERMANENT COMMISSION (DEFENCE), XVII LEGISLATURE, 141st MEETING, 22 JULY 2015.

On 22 July 2015, the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Mr Gioacchino Alfano, answered a parliamentary question relating to the constitution and the deployment of an elite unit of the Armed Forces within the Task Force 45 (TF45) of the NATO-covered ISAF in Afghanistan. Being TF45 provided with biometric data capture equipment for their role of support to the Afghan security forces, Mr Gioacchino Alfano dwelled on the legal basis for the collection of such data. He stated:

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The Government’s views on the situation in Ukraine and sanctions against the Russian Federation

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES AND SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 3rd JOINT COMMISSIONS, XVII LEGISLATURE, 13 FEBRUARY 2015

On 13 February 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, examined some recent developments in the Ukrainian crisis and took position on the prospects of softening sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation. He stated: Continue reading

A Statement by the Minister of Defence, Ms Roberta Pinotti, on the Libyan crisis

On 12 December 2014, the Italian Minister of Defence, Ms Roberta Pinotti, was interviewed by Mr Paolo Valentino, a journalist with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Before replying to – and denying – a rumour according to which she could become the next President of the Republic of Italy, she answered a number of questions concerning her Country’s foreign policy. She expressed Italy’s willingness to be protagonist in the Libyan crisis and to “provide its soldiers to a United Nations peacekeeping force”, but only upon certain conditions. In this respect, according to the Minister:

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A Statement of the Undersecretary of State for Defence on MUOS

SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 264th MEETING, 19 JUNE 2014

On 19 June 2014, the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Mr. Gioacchino Alfano, expressed the position of the Government on the project concerning the realization of the MUOS communication system in Niscemi, Sicily. The Minister of Defence had previously intervened, at that time before the Chamber of Deputies, on the same issues. In his statement, the Undersecretary highlighted that the MUOS project finds its foundation directly in the NATO treaties and subsequent agreements intervening thereon.

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The Minister of Defence Takes Position on the Storage of Nuclear Weapons on the Italian Territory and the Obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 175th MEETING, 17 FEBRUARY 2014.

On 17 February 2014 the Minister of Defence, Mr. Mario Mauro, reported in writing to the Chamber of Deputies on a request for information concerning the types of nuclear weapons stored in Italy, their location and the compatibility between such practice and the obligations deriving from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which Italy is a party. Minister Mauro stated the following:

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A Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emma Bonino, on the application of anti-piracy laws by India in the Enrica Lexie case

SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 191st MEETING, 13 February 2014

On 13 February 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emma Bonino, intervened before the Senate on the Enrica Lexie case. She expressed Italy’s serious concerns on the application of Indian anti-piracy and anti-terrorism legislation, which would run against the international efforts in fighting piracy. Moreover, the Minister criticised the stance taken by the UN Secretary-General, according to whom the dispute should be settled on a bilateral basis. The Minister eventually stressed that both NATO and the EU shared Italy’s concerns and supported the internationalisation of the dispute. She stated:

As for NATO, the Secretary-General just confirmed yesterday his sharing of our concerns and warnings in relation to the impact that the case of our marines might have on the entire framework of anti-piracy operations.

Thus, the reply given last Monday to a journalist by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, according to whom a negotiation on a bilateral basis of the marines case would be preferable to the involvement of the UN, despite not being new in its content, raised serious concerns and our greatest regret. The Secretary-General’s response is undoubtedly consistent with the traditional UN approach to judicial disputes between two Member States – a response, perhaps, where a misinterpreted consideration of impartiality toward two important members of the United Nations outbalances the attention that is due to the legal questions and matters of principle raised by Italy.

The point is, however, that the SUA Act, or its use as a ground for the indictment, had a substantial effect on the dispute. I dare to say – with all the respect that Italy has toward the United Nations system, which, moreover, I have always personally and frankly supported – that affirming at this point that such a case is a dispute between States is an irrelevant truism. And I believe that the reason is clear: the ongoing anti-piracy operations, in which we are taking part as our marines did, are grounded on several conventions on terrorism signed under the auspices of the United Nations, as well as on resolutions of the Security Council. These resolutions and these conventions are not only based on the common necessity to fight effectively piracy and terrorism, but also on the no less important necessity to prevent abuses and divergent interpretations of the definition of “terrorism” and “terrorist”. These notions are often used extensively, if not in an outright abusive way; it would thus be appropriate to establish a multilateral monitoring on the way national legislations in this field are interpreted and enforced.

What is more, we are no more the only ones to raise such concerns. Following the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council that was held last Monday, the European Union took the field to support Italy against the threat of an abuse of a legal framework which risks to jeopardise the entire anti-piracy international action. In this respect, too, I think that the response of the Secretary-General leaves something to be desired, as on this specific point we are not dealing any longer with a divergence or a dispute between Members of the United Nations, but with a critical mass of States, including four Members of the Security Council (two of which permanent Members), which raises a fundamental matter of principle.

She continued by saying that:

Italy has always coherently held the view that the case of the marines trespasses the ambit of bilateral relations, since it concerns the compliance with international law, including the principles of freedom of navigation, exclusive jurisdiction of the flag State, immunity of State agents acting in their official capacity, and the efforts of the international community in the fight against piracy. In fact, I reassert that our marines were taking part in an anti-piracy mission in accordance with international law, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Italian legislation enacting international anti-piracy norms, as the Government has affirmed in international fora. Therefore, we have constantly rejected the legitimacy of the jurisdiction of Indian judges and we have reiterated on several occasions that this jurisdiction is being exercised in contravention of the United Nations conventions on the law of the sea and of customary rules on functional immunity of State officials.

It is on the basis of these very considerations that, following the request of application of the SUA Act, we have further increased our pressures on the UN and, while since January we had decided to raise human rights concerns by means of an action before the High Commissioner, Ms Pillay, whom I am in touch with and will soon meet again in Geneva, as soon as the application of the SUA Act started being considered, we reacted strongly, as we are sure that this element goes far beyond the bilateral sphere.

Finally, she declared:

It is no more, it cannot be anymore a mere bilateral dispute, since what is at stake are the basic principles of the rule of law, and the application of anti-terrorism conventions and two Security Council resolutions authorising both the Atalanta operation (run by the EU) and the one named Ocean Shield .

The original Italian version of this speech can be downloaded here or found at www.senato.it/service/PDF/PDFServer/BGT/00747740.pdf.