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Statement by Italy’s Permanent Representative at Security Council Open Debate on “Advancing Public-Private Humanitarian Partnerships”



Italy aligns itself with the statement just delivered by the European Union and would like to add a few remarks in a national capacity.

The humanitarian challenge we face is unprecedented. The words of the Executive Director of the World Food Programme today and several appeals by the Secretary General and Under Secretary General Griffiths do not need much to add. The situation is appalling.

The under-funding of all humanitarian initiatives is shown in every report. The private sector can come to the rescue and public-private cooperation is a natural consequence.

We need to act now. And the public-private humanitarian partnership is one of the ways to act. Italy is grateful to the Albanian presidency for bringing the subject on the agenda of the Security Council.

This year’s Humanitarian Affairs Segment of ECOSOC addressed the involvement of the private sector in the humanitarian response as well.

Food insecurity, protection for civilians in armed conflict and all the other humanitarian crises need deeper and broader partnerships for achieving resilience and sustainable solutions. The humanitarian resolution approved in June, albeit through complex negotiations, clearly highlights the importance of strengthening coordination among humanitarian organizations, governments, and civil society actors to ensure a comprehensive and effective response. The private sector is an essential part of this picture.

In order to address and minimize the humanitarian consequences of conflicts, climate change and environmental risks, early warning and anticipatory action are crucial. To make it real, we need political solutions and we need to be faster, more effective and less risk averse across humanitarian and development efforts. All aspects in which the private sector can contribute to the efforts made by the public sector.

Development aid sometimes does not reach those who are most vulnerable. That paradigm needs to shift, and it needs to shift now. In order to address the drivers of food insecurity, we should rely upon flexible and urgent funding, especially towards anticipatory action and financing.

Starting a humanitarian response before a foreseeable shock is much faster, more dignified, more cost-efficient and it saves more lives. Anticipatory action must be applied and improved.

The Food System Summit Stock Tacking Moment held in Rome in July dedicated a whole session to the contribution of space industry to prevent food insecurity. Italy believes that public-private humanitarian partnership should build upon such initiatives. Public-private joint effort can provide the technological added value of solutions designed and engineered by the private sector only.

Broader partnerships across the siloes of the humanitarian action are much needed. This should include partnerships with the private sector, academia, civil society, local and regional actors, women, youth and foundations, as well as, of course, the UN, governments, donors, and international NGOs. This is the only way to overcome also the overarching issue of funding. Private sector foundations have a large unexpressed potential in leading and encouraging private investments in the humanitarian sector as well.

For these partnerships to be successful, we need to work collectively before, during, and after the crises. There are limits to what a humanitarian response can achieve. Yet, our efforts will be more effective if we leverage the unique capacities and mandates that the public sector brings to bear across the entire response.

I thank you.