Responses from Paolo Gentiloni, Italy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to questions from Chugoku Shimbun in written interview

Question) What hopes do you have for the upcoming foreign minister’s meeting?
Answer) Prime Minister Abe has vowed to strengthen the G7 as a “community of values” and Italy will stand squarely by his side. In a world that grows increasingly ruptured, intolerant and chaotic, the G7 should convey a message of peace, solidarity and respect for the rules-based international order. The G7 is naturally poised to act as a guarantor of those norms, ethical and legal at once, that have so far served as the lynchpin of global stability.

At the same time, we should not indulge in self-complacency. We should reflect on how to use our combined economic and cultural power as leverage to promote positive change; tackle the root-causes of instability and work with our counterparts in a true spirit of partnership, so as to build respect and trust.

Q)What would you like to discuss to advance peace in the world?
A) In Hiroshima we will need to address the key threats to international peace and security. The Mediterranean sea has bounced back to the forefront of history. That is where world peace will be cemented or undone. North Africa and the wider Middle East are in a turmoil, but we see also limited beacon of hope, the Iran nuclear deal, has become a success story of preventive diplomacy. A ceasefire, albeit fragile, is finally in place in Syria. The Libyan political process is no longer in a stalemate. Daesh-controled territories are shrinking. Dialogue and concerted efforts with all relevant actors have been instrumental in achieving these results; complemented, when needed, by shared military efforts. We should build on these developments and start planning for peace consolidation. Economic rehabilitation should be quick and effective, so as to show affected people the dividends of peace. This is where the G7 can make a major difference. But the issues at hand are not confined to any given region. There is the Ukrainian crisis to the north and tensions in the South China Sea.

Q)What suggestions would you like to make to overcome obstakles toward realizing this peace?
A) When it comes to diplomacy, that means holding on to our principles while being open in our approach. And most crucially from a European perspective, our response to the plight of refugees - but also to migrants, who are not invaders, but fellow humans who flee extreme poverty – should be based on humanity and shared responsibility.

Q) Do you support “a world without nuclear weapons”? What should be done to realize such a world?
A) Italy fully shares the goal of a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons.

The presence of international political leaders in Hiroshima serve both as a reminder of our solemn responsibility for future generations, and spur for our endeavors aimed at creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.

I am convinced that the promotion of international stability, based on the principle of undiminished security for all, as well as the full implementation of the non-proliferation obligations, are essential in order to produce an international environment conducive to a world without nuclear weapons. Disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing processes.

The nuclear weapon States bear fundamental responsibilities. At the same time, both nuclear weapon States and non-nuclear weapon States must cooperate to ensure the conditions for disarmament. This is possible only within inclusive processes based on confidence and trust.

Q) Do you have any suggestions as to what the youth of Hiroshima can do to promote peace?
A) As citizens of the first place in the world that experienced the catastrophic consequences of the atomic bomb, the youth of Hiroshima should keep this memory alive on behalf of the victims and help the international community in reaffirming that this terrible experience should never happen again.