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Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, at the Informal Meeting of the Plenary with the Secretary-General-designate, His Excellency Antonio Guterres

Mr. Secretary-General-designate,

Italy has had the privilege of working closely with you on the humanitarian tragedies taking place in the Mediterranean.

The sheer dimensions of the security crises – also in terms of their impact on human rights, humanitarian challenges, and development – requires clear, capable and experienced leadership, as embodied in your person.

Italy is now preparing to assume new responsibilities as a member of the Security Council starting in January. We come to the Council with years of experience on the frontlines of conflicts. On our own borders, we have been involved for many years in saving lives at sea and countering human trafficking, day after day. Through this activity, we have learned that unless large movements of people are properly addressed, a humanitarian crisis will become a threat to international peace and security.

Italy has high expectation for the outcome of the negotiations of the Global Compacts on refugees and on migrants that are expected to be adopted by the end of 2018. We can no longer ignore the suffering of those escaping conflicts in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Nor can we ignore the need for accountability for violations of humanitarian law and human rights, including human trafficking. We must also strengthen the protection of cultural heritage from looting, destruction and illegal trafficking, which seek to erase the identities of cultural and ethnic minorities, and provides financing for organized criminal and terrorist organizations.

On all these fronts, and in the UN’s global action, Italy will not fail to offer you our full support, and to contribute to strengthening the UN’s action in tackling today’s global challenges.

Thank you.