This year’s debate on the Council’s working methods is timely. The United Nations is approaching its 70th anniversary and the calls for an Organization better fit to address today’s challenges and emergencies are increasing. We, as Member States, must heed these calls, work together – and with the Organization – to satisfy the growing demand for effective multilateralism. The effort involves every UN body, including this Council.
First, we must acknowledge that today’s security challenges are different from those of the past and that the security landscape before us is rapidly changing. Less than a month ago we adopted the ambitious 2030 Agenda, which introduces an integrated approach to sustainable development by linking together the 5Ps of the Agenda: People, Prosperity, Partnership, Planet and Peace. Its implementation will require a fresh look at working methods and effective synergies among the different bodies of the United Nations.
Similar challenges are posed by the need for an integrated approach to implement the recommendations stemming from the three major reviews underway of the pillars of the new house we are building: the future of peacekeeping, the architecture of peacebuilding and the role of women in peace and security. These are overarching priorities that Italy strongly supports.
Improvements have already been achieved in rendering the Council’s working methods more responsive to the demand for transparency and interaction with the rest of the membership, including the increasing number of open debates and wrap-up sessions. Nevertheless, Italy believes there is room for further improvement. Allow me to highlight potential areas.
While recognizing and respecting the different roles and responsibilities of UN bodies, we believe that the Council could make use of the tools at its disposal, including informal meetings and briefings, to foster synergies with the other bodies of the Organization.
At the same time, we share the view that closer attention should be paid to wider security issues, which are a matter of concern for the widest membership. As an example of best practice, allow me to refer to the open debate held during the New Zealand Presidency of the Council on SIDS’ security challenges. We fully supported the initiative and followed it up by organizing, last week in Milan, a Ministerial Meeting on climate adaptation and food security in Small Island Developing States. Let me mention also the migratory issue, as a joint integrated challenge confronting us.
Second, knowledge leads to prevention. We must act beforehand rather than react. Information sharing is key and interaction between the Council and the Secretary-General can indeed foster awareness and early warning. Italy is committed to providing additional support to the Department of Political Affairs to ensure an effective deployment of mediation teams where needed. We also welcome the strengthening of “early warning” mechanisms, such as the Framework of Analysis of the Office of the UN Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, the Rights Up Front Initiative and the role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. All these represent valuable tools whose potential will have to be fully exploited.
In the same spirit, Italy believes in closer cooperation between the Security Council and the Peace Building Commission, for instance, by inviting the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to participate in Council meetings, as appropriate. These are fora where areas of potential crisis can be discussed and assessed in advance.
This leads me to a third point: the revitalization of Chapter VI of the Charter in the work of the Council and the systematic recourse to cooperation with regional and sub regional organizations under Chapter VIII. We should collectively renew our focus on the peaceful settlement of disputes by promoting good offices and mediation efforts and by dividing work with regional and sub-regional partners.
Fourth, we must not shy away from debating the reform of the Council in the aim of making it more representative, transparent, democratic, effective and accountable. While the membership is engaged in seeking a proper comprehensive compromise solution, attaining all five clusters, we believe that there is scope for action under the current system to further improve the Council’s working methods. Bearing this in mind, Italy has joined both the French-Mexican initiative and the ACT Code of Conduct to limit the use of the veto on issues linked to mass atrocities and crimes, as provided for under the Rome Statute.
My last point is that we should invest in the preventive power of justice by fighting impunity and promoting accountability. Improved working methods are crucial to the Security Council’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities. As Vice President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, I stress the importance of discussing international criminal justice issues within this Council in a systematic and comprehensive manner, bearing in mind the different sensitivities at stakes.
This is part of Italy’s commitment to improving the working methods of the Security Council. Italy will consistently pursue the goal of a more transparent, efficient and accountable Security Council, where elected members can make a bigger contribution to its work, also by acting as a bridge towards non-Council members and their concerns. Enhancing the transparency and efficiency of the Council’s working methods should be a constant for all Member States. The general membership of this Organization can rely on Italy’s strong determination in this endeavor.
Thank you, Mr. President.
STATEMENT BY THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ITALY TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AMBASSADOR SEBASTIANO CARDI, AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON “WORKING METHODS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL” (October 20, 2015)