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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maurizio Massari Humanitarian Demining in Ukraine and its consequences for Food Security

PR

Thank you very much,

Good afternoon to all of you,

Excellencies, Ministers, Distinguished Guests and Friends,

it is my pleasure to welcome each and everyone of you today.

As the Presidency of the Mine Action Support Group for 2024, the Permanent Mission of Italy is honored to dedicate this first high-level event of the year on Ukraine, especially in light of the second anniversary of the full-scale illegal and unjustified invasion by the Russian Federation.

Let me begin by extending my gratitude to our co-sponsors for their cooperation in organizing this conference.

I’d like to thank the Foreign Ministers of Croatia, Poland and Switzerland for being here today, together with the Vice Minister of Lithuania and, of course, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine, along with all esteemed dignitaries present in this room.

The Italian government has been all long a strong supporter of Ukraine’s independence, full sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to do so, our support is unwavering.

Under the framework of the G7 Presidency, Italy remains steadfast in its commitment to address global challenges through international cooperation. From this perspective, humanitarian demining is a critical issue that holds a prominent place on our agenda.

 

Since Russian invasion, Ukraine stands as one of the Countries most significantly affected by landmines globally.

The consequences of contaminated lands for local and global Food Security are numerous: from disrupting agriculture and displacing farmers, to contaminating water sources and affecting livestock, as well as disrupting global supply chains.

 

Demining is a humanitarian imperative for the safe restoration of land for civilian use. It is a prerequisite for strengthening food security and an essential step toward economic recovery and the rebuilding of resilient communities.

Today provides us with an opportunity to assess progress made so far in Ukraine – thanks to the concerted efforts of the United Nations, the Ukrainian Government and the support provided by donor countries.

In this regard, let me briefly highlight Italy’s proactive role in Ukraine.

Over the past years, Italian Cooperation has steadily increased resources dedicated to mine action, particularly risk education and victim assistance. We have founded programs through the International Red Cross and UNICEF aimed at educating and raising awareness among civilians exposed to the risk of mines.

Last year, we allocated over 48 million dollars for initiatives by Civil Society Organizations’ particularly in the humanitarian demining sector.

Most recently, we contributed with over 2 million dollars to the “Project for institutional strengthening and support for the resilience of the Ukrainian population” implemented with the Ukrainian authorities.

Our strategic goal is to promote an integrated approach and a strong coordination – amongst donors and within the UN system – to effectively carry humanitarian programs in Ukraine, particularly those addressing mine-related activities and the prevention of food insecurity.

 

I thank you.