Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I am Lieutenant General Antonio RICCIARDI, Italian Carabinieri Deputy Commanding General.
First of all, also on behalf of Lt. Gen. Tullio DEL SETTE, Carabinieri Commanding General, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the U.N. Secretary General and his staff for inviting to attend this Summit. I am likewise honored and privileged to address you in this extremely important place.
Having gathered so many top Police representatives from all over the world who are involved, in different ways, in the peacekeeping field, provides all of us with a unique opportunity to share an open debate on the need, now felt more than ever, to promote and consolidate international stability and security of which United Nations peacekeeping operations often represent an essential component.
As most of you already know, Italy and the Carabinieri have always been at the forefront of peacekeeping efforts for law enforcement in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Mali, Djibouti, Iraq and Lebanon through effective stability policing, technical assistance and training services delivered in those crises areas to support the reconstruction of local police forces and institutions.
In particular the Carabinieri contribute to police capacity building through the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units of Vicenza, known as CoESPU, created after the commitments undertaken by Italy within the G-8 summit in Sea Island in 2004, with the adoption of the Action Plan aimed at “Strengthening global capacity for peace support operations”, with a specific focus on African countries.
The CoESPU, which has recently marked its tenth anniversary, has particularly distinguished itself for its strong involvement in the field of peacekeeping training, through delivering highly specialized courses and mentoring, both at home and abroad, reaching, since 2005, the ambitious target of around 9000 units trained in the specific field from a total of 98 countries, 35 of which under the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) project, and 16 International Organizations.
I am firmly convinced that the Center is key to boost the performance and the effectiveness of UN Peace Operations as a driving force capable of expanding and disseminating UN standardized training models and methodologies necessary to form effective Police Stability Units thereby increasing awareness in sensitive issues such as civilians protection and sexual exploitation and abuse in crisis areas. From this point of view, we strongly believe that CoESPU is ready to become a “UN Police Global Coordination Center”, and point of reference for the establishing “FPU Standing Police Capacity”.
It is paramount to understand that Stability Police Units do not represent an alternative or exclusive source as compared to the other components of a mission but are, instead, a highly effective and complementary tool in the broad-spectrum capacity building process necessary to the United Nations and the International Community to respond effectively to the current challenges posed by the recent humanitarian crisis and interethnic conflicts.
In this contest is paramount also the safeguarding of cultural heritage as a symbol of identity and as a factor of social cohesion. For this reason we are developing, in coordination with UNESCO, a task Force for the protection of cultural heritage, named “Unite4Heritage”.
In addition, as regards the UN Strategic Guidance framework for International Police Peacekeeping, two CoESPU experts participate in on-line working groups on the topics of “Community Oriented Policing” and “Mentoring, Monitoring and Advising” contributing to the development of guidance materials and training curricula in these specific areas.
Moreover, I strongly believe in the importance of establishing valuable partnerships with Regional organizations.
Having said that, I am sure that the Carabinieri, through CoESPU, and the UN partners will continue to journey together on a course of lasting cooperation thereby attaining always and more ambitious goals in the realm of peacekeeping.
I would like to thank you very much for having me here and I wish you all the best of luck for your work.