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Statement by Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative at UN General Assembly’s Plenary Meeting


Mr President,

I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and governments of Morocco and Libya for the tragedies that have affected their respective countries, first of all.

Mr President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union and would like to add some further remarks in its national capacity.

Yet again we are called to discuss the use of the veto by a Permanent Member of the Security Council. While we regret the circumstances that brought us here today, we welcome the opportunity to highlight the relevance of the implementation of Resolution 76/262 and reiterate our strong opposition to the use of the veto.

The veto power contradicts the principle of sovereign equality of States, which is central to the UN Charter and needs to be at the basis of any future reform of the UN Security Council. Through this debate we therefore aim at adding our voice to that of the other Members of the General Assembly, to strengthen multilateralism and increase the transparency and accountability of the UN architecture.

In addition to being in contrast with the general principles of multilateralism, the use of the veto by the Russian Federation during the meeting of the Security Council on “The situation in Mali”, last 30 of August, is deplorable for at least three reasons.

Firstly, the veto prevented the Security Council from discharging its vital responsibilities with regard to the situation in Mali, which continues to endanger regional and international peace and security.

Secondly, the veto was a disruptive unilateral move, that substantially ignored the position of the vast majority of the Members of the Council, including that of the Members of the region, which unanimously voted in favour of the renewal of the mandate of the Panel of Experts.

Thirdly, the veto weakens the oversight capacities of the Security Council and the UN System in a critical moment for the political transition in Mali and the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Mali is also dealing with the delicate process of MINUSMA’s withdrawal, that has already proven to be very challenging.

We realize that there is a need to review sanctions regimes in light of the evolving situation on the ground, while taking into account the position of the interested Member States. However, in the specific case of the regime regarding Mali, the sanctions were never meant to penalize a Member State. Quite the opposite, both the travel ban and asset freeze measures against a limited number of individuals and the mandate of the Panel of Experts were adopted to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Italy, in particular, has appreciated the work of the Panel of Experts and the detailed information provided in their reports. In vetoing the renewal of the sanctions regime, the Russian Federation deprived not only the Security Council but the entire International Community of a useful tool to examine and decipher the political and security situation in a country stricken by a complex crisis.

We encourage the Transitional Government of Mali to keep the door open to multilateralism and remain ready to engage with the United Nations and its Membership to support peace and prosperity in Mali and the wider Sahel region.

I thank you.