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Statement by Italy’s DPR at the Security Council Open Debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts


Mr./Madam President,

Italy aligns itself with the statements delivered by the European Union and the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians. We would like to thank the Swiss Presidency of the Security Council for organizing this annual Open Debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, with a specific focus on the urgent issues of food insecurity and the safeguarding of essential services.

Today, these topics are more urgent and alarming than ever before. The devastating impacts on civilians caused by the illegal Russian military aggression on Ukraine, which we strongly condemn, and the indirect consequences of this heinous aggression on the global food security crisis are a stark reminder of the crucial importance of respecting International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Respecting IHL is paramount in preventing hunger during conflicts and safeguarding the lives of civilians. As we all know, IHL explicitly prohibits the use of starvation as a method of warfare and provides special protection for objects essential to the survival of civilian populations.

The annual report of the Secretary-General further emphasizes the gravity of conflict-induced food insecurity and the critical need to protect vital civilian infrastructure and essential services. We must reflect on the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2417 and 2573, which can play a significant role in addressing conflict-related hunger and ensuring the safety of essential services.

Italy, as the host country of the Rome-based United Nations food agencies, is particularly committed to addressing the critical issue of global food insecurity. In this context, the recent renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative remains a “beacon of hope” for maintaining open food chains, lowering and stabilizing global food prices. We strongly support the efforts of the Secretary-General and Under Secretary-General Griffiths in this regard.

Furthermore, Italy recognizes the urgency of providing vital assistance to other humanitarian crises in the Global South. Tomorrow, we will be hosting a Humanitarian Pledging Conference on the Horn of Africa in collaboration with OCHA, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Qatar. We kindly encourage your high-level participation and substantial financial contributions to support this important initiative.

Additionally, as the chair of the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment, Italy has identified food insecurity as a key theme this year. In collaboration with Kenya, we are co-facilitating the annual humanitarian resolution aimed at reinforcing the language on food security and addressing protection risks.

Let me also highlight that Italy is honored to host the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit stock-taking moment in Rome next July. This event will provide a valuable opportunity to assess innovative and inclusive solutions to address the complex challenges of food security.

In conclusion, we urge the international community to redouble its efforts and take decisive action to address the pressing challenges of food insecurity, protect essential services, and create a safer and more dignified future for all civilians affected by conflicts worldwide. Italy is ready to do its part.

I thank you Mr./Madam President.