“The mission of UN peace operations is to trigger processes of durable peace in the field and subsequently of sustainable development in host Countries. The environmental dimension must be a part of these efforts so that the deployment of peace operations not only avoid harming the environment but may even serve as example of good practices of environmental protection and sustainability. For this reason Italy, together with Bangladesh, launched an ad hoc Group of Friends: to ensure that this theme be dutifully considered in the ongoing reflection on how to make UN missions more efficient, integrated and safe also for the blue helmets themselves.”
New York, 18 April 2018: This was the comment of the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, on the International Peace Institute policy paper, “The Environmental Impact of UN Peace Operations”. The paper, supported by Finland, was presented today in New York in presence of Mr. Atul Khare, USG of the UN Department of Field Support, with the participation of Italy and Bangladesh, co-chairs of the Group of Friends leading on the environmental management of UN peace missions.
The Group of Friends, established on 16 February and gathering almost 30 Countries from all regional groups, aims to promote the implementation of the 2017 Environmental Strategy of the UN Department of Field Support, and to raise awareness of Member States and the United Nations system on the management of the environmental impact of peacekeeping operations. “Such objectives – added Amb. Cardi – require closer cooperation between troop and police contributing countries, host countries and the UN: from planning the interventions to training and equipping the peacekeepers; from deployment in the field to the implementation of responsible exit strategies.”
Italy, the top contributor of peacekeepers among Western Countries and the eighth contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget, brought this theme to the attention of the Security Council last December and obtained the first-ever declaration by this body on the importance of mitigating the impact of peace missions on the ecosystems and cultural heritage of the communities in which they are deployed.