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Press Release – Launch of the Group of Friends leading on environmental management in the field, co-chaired by Italy and Bangladesh

“Italy is the first contributor of Blue Helmets among Western Countries and is amongst the main contributors to the peacekeeping budget. We have a great stake in ensuring that UN peace operations perform in the field in an efficient and sustainable way, also from the environmental angle. Respecting the environment as well as the historical and cultural heritage of local communities in the areas where peace operations are deployed, is key – in Italy’s view – to the success of the international efforts for peace.”

New York, 16 February 2018: With these remarks Ambassador Cardi commented the inaugural meeting of the “Group of Friends leading on environmental management in the field”, co-chaired by Italy and Bangladesh, hosted today by the Italian Permanent Mission at the United Nations, with the participation of Under Secretary-General Atul Khare, Head of the UN Department of Field Support, and more than 30 Member States.

“Italy has been at the forefront last year in drawing the attention of the Security Council on this issue: on our initiative, the UN executive body recognized for the first time in a statement the importance of an intensified endeavor of the United Nations and the Member States to minimize the impact of peacekeeping operations on the ecosystems and on the local communities in the areas where they are deployed. A strengthened cooperation among the UN, the troop and police contributing Countries and the host Countries is fundamental to achieve this objective, starting with the training and equipment of peacekeepers, two areas in which our Country has cutting edge capabilities.”

Under the lead of Italy and Bangladesh, the Group of Friends aims at promoting the implementation of the Environmental Strategy launched by the UN Department of Field Support in 2017, and to raise awareness of Member States and the United Nations’ system on the need to bolster cooperation to ensure an efficient and sustainable environmental management by peacekeeping operations, thus also contributing to the effective delivery of their respective mandates.

Italy is the first contributor of peacekeepers among Western Countries and the eighth contributor to the peacekeeping budget. It also hosts an important UN hub in Brindisi.