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Statement delivered by Italy at the Security Council Open Debate on the “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: The Respect of Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter”

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

Last October, at the initiative of Spain, Member States recommitted themselves to the principles and the values of the Charter. These principles and values hold the same relevance today that they did 70 years ago. They are the bedrock of the effective multilateralism that the UN embodies when we work together constructively. We must continue to promote and strengthen these values to address today’s pressing challenges: from climate change to sustainable development; from preventing violent extremism to addressing regional conflicts; from managing migration to finding solutions to the unprecedented number of refugees.

This is how our Organization has been able to achieve significant results in the past 70 years, lifting millions from poverty, promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights, advancing fundamental freedoms. This is how we reached milestone agreements last year such as the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Accord. Rest assured of Italy’s continuous commitment.

At the same time, 70 years have passed by and a fresh look is needed. Allow me to make some brief points.|

First, awareness. We must recognize that today’s security challenges are different from those of the past and that the security landscape before us is rapidly changing. While respecting the different roles and mandates of the UN organs, closer attention should be paid to broader security issues, which are a matter of concern for a growing part of the membership, and closer cooperation between the General Assembly and the Security Council should be sought. As a best practice, I would point to the open debate held during the New Zealand Presidency of the Council on SIDS’ security challenges and recall the prompt and efficient response taken by this Council with regards to the Ebola crisis.

Second, fostering an integrated approach and addressing the root causes of instability. Today’s challenges are complex by nature. Among its merits, Agenda 2030 introduces an integrated approach to security: just as the SDGs will promote peace, so is peace essential for the SDGs. It is thus essential to understand and address the root causes of today’s challenges. Implementation of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals will play a critical role also in the prevention of violent extremism and contribute to managing effectively migrations and the unprecedented number of refugees and IDPs.

This leads me to the third point: revitalizing the preventive tools at the disposal of this Council. The rhetorical battle on conflict prevention has been won. There is broad consensus on its centrality and on the great risks that can stem from inaction. Not only is prevention the right choice: it is the smart choice. The emerging broad consensus among the membership should now be operationalized by strengthening the tools of preventive diplomacy, also financially. It is thus important to renew our collective focus on the peaceful settlement of disputes under Chapter VI of the Charter and develop our partnerships with regional and sub regional organizations, in particular with the African Union, under Chapter VIII. 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.

Thank you, Mr. President.