Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Event on “Preventive diplomacy and the changing landscape of modern conflicts: panel discussion on the role of regional organizations” co-organized by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in cooperation with the Italian Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE —
It’s indeed my pleasure to welcome you to this panel discussion focusing on preventive diplomacy. And first of all, let me express my gratitude to the High Commissioner for National Minorities, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, for co-hosting this event together with us as Italian Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE. I would also like to welcome and thank very much Under-Secretary Rosemary Di Carlo for being with us today and of course all the representatives of regional organizations who will contribute and animate the discussion by sharing their experiences and best practices in conflict prevention.
Preventing conflict is the priority of our time. Italy strongly support the Secretary-General’s endeavor to shift the paradigm from crisis management to conflict prevention and sustaining peace. We are longstanding supporters of his good offices and of the Department of Political Affairs’ prevention and mediation activities.
We need theUnited Nations to defend peace worldwide. A strengthened UN should be able to count on the fundamental contribution of regional organizations, since they are the best placed to detect early warning signs and deploy preventive tools before tensions escalate.
Endorsing this approach, Italy has placed conflict prevention and conflict resolution at the core of its Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE. Indeed, the OSCE represents a unique platform for dialogue. As a regional organization under Chapter VIII of the Charter, it provides a crucial contribution to the UN action to prevent conflicts. Intensifying this cooperation is of paramount importance.
The motto of the Italian Chairmanship is “Dialogue, Ownership, Responsibility”. These three pillars should guide our preventive diplomacy efforts, since they are the foundations of any inclusive and well-integrated society.
In fact, a comprehensive approach to peace is one that recognizes security, development and human rights as indivisible components of a stable, prosperous and diverse society. This is the idea at the core of the Secretary-General’s vision of a reformed UN. The same idea is reflected in the identity and architecture of the OSCE. Italy, as Chair in Office, has been working in the three OSCE dimensions proactively, to make them mutually reinforcing and ensure a cross-cutting approach in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Intercultural dialogue and the fight against any form of discrimination are priorities of Italy’s foreign policy. Our OSCE Chairmanship is grounded on these goals. We believe that the respect of human rights is an essential precondition for peace. Our candidature to the Human Rights Council for the 2019-2021 term is based on this belief. Protection and promotion of human rights have also been the underlying theme of all the initiatives we promoted during the Ministerial Week and will continue to drive our efforts throughout the 73rd General Assembly.
The changing nature of conflicts and the transnational nature of modern threats to international peace and security highlight the importance of the human rights’ dimension. Today, drivers and multipliers of conflicts transcend national boundaries and affect the individual directly, in most cases by impacting on identity and the sense of belonging. For this reason, Italy considers the protection of cultural heritage as crucial to preventing conflicts and building a durable peace.
Culture and identity are becoming increasingly relevant in peace and conflict dynamics. Our societies are ever more complex and diverse. This diversity can spark tensions but it can also bring new opportunities for peace and development. Only if our societies are inclusive and integrated, can they become resilient to the threats our Countries are facing.
A multilateralism based on dialogue, ownership and responsibility is the best framework to address this challenge. Our preventive action must be coherent and integrated but also context-specific. In this perspective, strengthened cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is essential. I am sure today’s discussion will contribute to this common goal.
Thank you very much.