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STATEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ITALY TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AMBASSADOR INIGO LAMBERTINI, AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE ON THE STRENGTHENING OF THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RELIEF ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS, INCLUDING SPECIAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE (December 10, 2015)

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement by the European Union and wishes to add some national remarks.

At the outset, I would like to commend the efforts of all delegations that have facilitated and negotiated the resolutions that will be adopted today. In light of the magnitude of the humanitarian challenges ahead of us, the resolve and unity of this Assembly and of the international community at large in tackling this issue are of capital importance.

The year 2015 has seen a sharp rise in the number of people living in regions of the world affected by conflicts or extreme fragility, of those forced to seek protection and a safe shelter away from their homes, of women and children in need of international assistance.

More crises are affecting more people for longer periods of time. Therefore, the global humanitarian response has increased, reaching unprecedented levels but not enough to match the current needs.

Mr. President,

To meet the commitment we made in September in this very room “to leave no one behind,” we must begin by assisting the most vulnerable placing humanitarian needs at the center of the international agenda and of our action.

Italy has done so in confronting the refugee crisis, by making it a priority to save the lives of those who flee conflict and misery crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek protection away from their home. We will continue to do so in every area of our international engagement.

Putting humanitarian needs at the center of the agenda also means working to ensure that International Humanitarian Law is respected; that development cooperation and humanitarian assistance work hand-in-hand; that assistance is tailored to the local context in an inclusive approach; that women, children and people with disabilities are better protected and that fragility is replaced by resilience.

To achieve this, the humanitarian system must become both more effective and more efficient. We look forward to in-depth discussions on these and other issues that can significantly improve the global humanitarian response capacity in the lead-up to the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. 

Mr. President,

It is clear that ultimately our efforts must be oriented at tackling the root causes of humanitarian crises, which are all too often driven by armed conflicts and man-made violence. This awareness must increase our resolve to focus on long-term, sustainable solutions, conscious that the cost of inaction is simply more of the same: more people affected by crises, more often and for longer periods of time.

I thank you, Mr. President.