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Security Council – Open Debate (VTC) on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Contemporary Drivers of Conflict and Insecurity

Statement delivered by Italy at the Security Council VTC Open Debate on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Contemporary Drivers of Conflict and Insecurity —

Italy thanks the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for organizing this Open Debate, which offers the opportunity to discuss crucial topics for the future of the UN.

Giving substance to the Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace agenda means looking in a thoughtful way at the future of the UN.

The United Nations’ capacity is unparalleled and must be fully exploited by improving synergy and coordination among all UN actors at Headquarters and on the ground. Italy believes that increasing our support to the most vulnerable Countries remain an absolute priority and we will promote such priority also in the context of the upcoming Italian Presidency of the G20, in 2021.

The unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 must be transformed into opportunities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace at all levels, informing also the undergoing review process of the peacebuilding architecture to which Italy remains committed to contribute. We must avoid that hard-won gains in peace, security, developments and human rights may be reversed.

In this framework, we should stress, among other things, the importance of further strengthening the existing partnerships between the UN and various international financial institutions and regional organizations, to develop coherent and comprehensive responses to complex and inter-related challenges.

In this effort, it is crucial to involve also local communities and the private sector. Only a truly concerted effort at the global level will be effective in dealing with the consequences of the current crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic shows us the need to promote peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda through a coordinated and multilateral response in different areas:

– Global health remains a fundamental precondition for peace, stability and prosperity and interacts with the tripartite nexus peace-humanitarian-development.This is the reason why, from the very beginning of this global emergency, Italy has strongly supported international solidarity, actively advocating for an international alliance to advance the research on a vaccine against COVID-19.

– As incoming Presidency of the G20 and in the framework of our partnership with the United Kingdom for COP26, we will strive to ensure that climate action be the foundation of the post-pandemic recovery. We firmly believe climate change in another key factor which interacts with the nexus peace-humanitarian-development. Climate change did not pause because of Covid-19. Next year there will be the opportunity to build international momentum on climate action also through other major events: the Food Systems Summit and the Global Health Summit that Italy will host together with the European Commission. In both cases, specific attention will have to be paid to the strong interrelations between climate change, food systems and public health.

– The pandemic must push further our research for a whole-of-system response based on coordination, partnerships and flexible use of existing platforms. The Peacebuilding Commission has proactively adapted its programme of work in order to address the challenges of the current situation and a better financed Peacebuilding Fund have a crucial role to play in supporting a conflict sensitive international response to the pandemic, supporting efforts by local communities, and fostering a coordinated peacebuilding response to COVID-19.

– There are several priority areas in which Italy stands ready to contribute. In a state of emergency like the one we are experiencing, it is of paramount importance that everyone has access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. In this spirit, Italy is committed to support FAO, IFAD, WFP and all relevant UN actors in their efforts to prevent a global food crisis and has been promoting a Food Coalition through the FAO to mobilize expertise, provide policy support, establish a space for dialogue and promote initiatives focused on the creation of more resilient and sustainable food systems.

– The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of fully implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. Women and girls have being particularly exposed to sexual and gender-based violence or to the unequal sharing of responsibilities. We must redouble our commitment to achieve gender parity and to ensure that women participate meaningfully in decision-making processes.