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Security Council – Open Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations —

Thank you, Mr. President,

We would like to express our appreciation for the convening of this meeting and take this opportunity to wish you and your team every success in your Presidency of the Security Council for the current month.

We listened carefully to the briefing of Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, and would like to commend him and the entire Secretariat for their tireless efforts in support of peacekeeping operations.

In today’s quickly evolving security scenarios, peacekeeping continues to be a powerful instrument at our disposal to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts, while providing a crucial contribution to our collective and comprehensive efforts to restore and sustain peace.

As the top contributor of Blue Helmets in the Western Group and one of the main financial supporters of peacekeeping, Italy is particularly aware of the challenges peace operations are facing today.
Italy has endorsed from the outset the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping and currently supports the Secretariat as a “Champion’’ in multiple thematic areas of the said Declaration.

The efforts of the Secretariat, together with members States, to identify gaps in the peacekeeping operations, are a positive example of the virtuous dialogue we need among all the stakeholders, in particular TCCs and PCCs, to create synergies and best practices.
We would like to focus on five fundamental aspects of performance:

First, pre-deployment and in-mission training are of the key importance.

They provide peacekeepers with up-to-date expertise, high professional and ethical standards, and common operating procedures. Italy has a strong record in training military and police personnel for peace operations, and stands ready to continue providing its contribution. In this respect, we wish to mention the role of the CoESPU Training Center in Vicenza, which is already engaged in a very productive cooperation with the DPO.

Second, we have to work jointly to increase the number and role of women in the field, and to promote gender perspective within the military and police personnel through targeted training.

Third, we have to ensure that we continue providing peacekeeping operations with our best troops, first quality equipment and appropriate enablers. This is the best way to enhance the performance of peacekeeping operations while ensuring the protection of civilians as well as the safety and security of our peacekeepers and humanitarian actors. In this context Italy supports the Secretary-General’s Zero Tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuses and it is proud to be the first contributor to the Trust Fund to the Victims of SEA.

Fourth, we should think in terms of the legacy of peacekeeping operations. This is something to be considered when mandates are being drafted and that requires cooperation between the Security Council, the Secretariat, Host States, and TCCs/PCCs.

In the same vein, we have to orient our resources into sectors that can ensure the performance of our peacekeeping and at the same time can benefit the host State once the mission is completes. That is why we have been strongly advocating greater attention to environmental impact of UN peace missions. Together with Bangladesh, Italy has the honor to co-chair the “Group of Friends for leading on environmental management in the field,” the main purpose of the Group is to support implementation of the environmental strategy for field missions issued in 2016 by the then Department of Field Support.

Fifth, as mentioned by USG Lacroix, partnerships with regional organizations are also essential. As a founding Member of the EU, Italy is fully committed to strengthen UN-EU partnership and synergies. Italy also welcomes the cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations, which we hope will lead to a secure, more predictable and sustainable financial support to the African peace operations.

We wish to conclude, Mr. President, by paying our heartfelt tribute to all the men and women who are upholding the values of the United Nations in the field, bringing peace and security, and to those over the years who have lost their lives in this service. In this respect let me express our deep condolences to the people and government of Burkina Faso for the heinous terrorist attacks, which occurred yesterday.

Thank you, Mr. President.