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Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself to the statement of the European Union and welcomes the presentation of the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its Seventh Session and of the Report of the Secretary General on the Peacebuilding Fund. We recognize the importance of the new strategic approach to the core functions of the Commission – advocacy, resource mobilization and coherence-forging – and we praise the Commission for the integration of a gender dimension throughout its work.

We welcome the transition process in Sierra Leone and we support the efforts of its people and of its government to address the challenges of development and transformation through the implementation of the “Agenda for prosperity”. On the other side, we are deeply concerned by the worrisome news coming from Central African Republic, which relapsed into conflict even if it had been on the Commission’s agenda for the past six years.

Mr. President,

Does the resurgent violence in the Central African Republic demonstrate the futility of the Peacebuilding approach? We don’t believe, so, inasmuch as we don’t believe that the successful striving of Sierra Leone means that post-conflict Peacebuilding is the panacea for all ills.

On this regard, I’d like to quote Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, who wisely said: “The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned”.

This powerful and evocative words resonate with the analysis of Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, who declared last week in the Security Council that, in the face of the unpredictable environment and of the great risks involved in peacebuilding, the international community must always be prepared to renew its engagement and to adapt its approach to the situation on the ground.

Mr President,

Today Italy is at the forefront of the international effort to develop, strengthen a d adapt the concept of Peacebuilding, in accordance with the paramount principle of national ownership: as recently as last month the Sant’Anna School of Superior Studies, based in Pisa, organized in Somaliland an high-level course to confront with the local authorities on the role of civilian personnel in Peacebuilding.

Moreover, Italy’s engagement in the matter is centered on a clear priority: the empowerment of women.

According to Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the ultimate aim of Peacebuilding is to address “the deepest causes of conflict: economic despair, social injustice and political oppression”. Italy strongly believes that the transformative power of women’s and girls’ economic, social and political empowerment is key to tackle these challenges and essential to promote the security, stability and development of societies emerging from armed conflict. That is why in 2013 we cosponsored Security Council Resolution 2122 on Women, Peace and Security, which focuses on women’s leadership and participation in Peacebuilding and on the gender dimension of peace processes and conflict resolution.

Mr. President,

Our expertise in post-conflict Peacebuilding has deep and evocative roots in our national history: from the ruins of the Second World War and from the desolation of a civil war, Italy managed to heal its wounds and rise as a democratic and prosperous country.

Moreover, Italy was one of the 6 Inner Countries which, only six years after the end of a devastating war, had the forward-looking courage to invest in the European integration process and therefore laid the foundations of the European Union, an organization that today counts 28 members and has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and well-being to the people of Europe.

It is therefore for all this reasons and in a spirit of service that Italy presents its candidature to the Organizational Committee for the period 2015-2016.

We are confident that, given our history, our sustained engagement and our contribution to peacekeeping and peacebuilding up to date, Italy can provide a marked contribution to the work of the Commission.

I thank you, Mr. President.