This site uses technical, analytics and third-party cookies.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies.

Preferences cookies

STATEMENT BY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ITALY TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AMBASSADOR MAURIZIO MASSARI ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF FRIENDS FOR LEADING ON ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN THE FIELD (LEAF) AT SECURITY COUNCIL ARRIA MEETING

PR

Mr. Chair,

Thank you for convening this meeting.

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the “Group of Friends for Leading on Environmental Management in the field” (LEAF), which includes 34 Members: Australia, Bangladesh (as Co-Chair), Bhutan, Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Senegal, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, European Union and my own Country, Italy (as Co-Chair).

The LEAF Group, representing all UN regional groups, was launched with the main purpose of supporting the implementation of the UN Secretariat’s Environment Strategy for field missions issued in 2016. It has been at the forefront of the comprehensive consultation process led by DOS, culminating in the 2023-2030 Way Forward for the Environment Strategy for Peace Operations and which embodies our collective aspiration for more sustainable and environmentally responsible peacekeeping operations.

Mr./Madam Chair,

Today’s discussion includes an essential dimension of conflict prevention, one where environmental stewardship and peacebuilding converge.

Environmental challenges alter the parameters of security and push us to develop more holistic and forward-thinking approaches to maintaining stability, including in UN peace operations.

This is why the LEAF Group has been advocating for incorporating aspects of environmental management in these missions.

Our explicit call to consider and manage the environmental footprint of field missions is also in line with the wider framework set out by international agreements to protect the environment and promote sustainable development.

Peace operations are often deployed in fragile contexts and in complex, changing environmental landscapes. They must conjugate a responsible presence with operational effectiveness. This means achieving maximum efficiency in the use of natural resources, operating at minimum risk and having a positive impact on people and ecosystems.

The lessons learned from implementing sustainable practices in peacekeeping missions can provide valuable insights for our collective efforts to prevent conflicts and build resilience in environmentally stressed regions.

The UN Department of Operational Support’s Environment Strategy and its 2023-2030 Way Forward illustrates how environmental management, beyond being instrumental in “doing no harm” to the ecosystems of the host country, can strengthen operational effectiveness and efficiency.

Environmental management can improve the operational resilience of UN field missions and the security of peacekeepers, restore confidence locally and leave a positive legacy after the missions’ departure.

Experience has shown that the use of renewable energy can reduce reliance on long supply lines for fuel and decrease the risks of asymmetric attacks on resupply convoys.

When missions implement water conservation techniques or introduce renewable energy sources, they not only reduce their own footprint but also showcase critical solutions to resource scarcities.

By engaging and bringing together local communities around shared environmental goals, peace missions can create new avenues for dialogue and collaboration. The missions also help building the capacity of the host country for environmental management and green energy.

The Environment Strategy has been successful: data measurement has been strengthened; risks have been identified and mitigated; technical support capacity has improved.

Reducing the environmental footprint of field missions has become an established priority reflected in policies within the UN system. Progress achieved on inclusion of environmental considerations across Security Council and General Assembly resolutions as well as reports of the C-34 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations is truly commendable; however, more can and should be done in addressing these considerations.

Mr. Chair,

The “Group of Friends for leading on environmental management in the field” (LEAF) will continue to support the Environment Strategy and its 2023-2030 Way Forward.

Thank you.