Excellencies & Colleagues,
Mr. Herve’ Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Threats and challenges to international peace and security require a coherent, coordinated approach from the international community. They also require appropriate conflict prevention and management policies and procedures. This is why the UN is striving to modernize and innovate its peacekeeping operations. It is improving logistics and administrative practices, strengthening infrastructure and police capacities, adopting new technologies, and enhancing cooperation between missions. Last but not least, the UN is consolidating partnerships with Member States and regional and sub-regional organizations.
“Looking forward, we will need to develop those partnerships more and more,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet, at International Peacekeeping Day on May 29th.
Many regional and sub-regional organizations have long histories of cooperation with the UN in conflict prevention and mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Cooperation between the UN and EU in conflict prevention and management has become a major component of global security governance today. New York and Brussels share similar objectives and are thus natural partners in peacekeeping.
In a 2010 statement to the Security Council, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Ashton, said: “The reasons behind the creation of the UN are similar to those that originally drove European integration: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Today, the UN and the EU need to promote the ideals that inspired earlier generations in a new world”.
Italy has a longstanding commitment to supporting EU and UN crisis management and PK operations. [As evidence of the priority Italy attaches to UN peacekeeping,] We are the top contributor of Blue Helmets among EU Member States – with more than one-thousand peacekeepers deployed in UN peacekeeping operations – and the seventh top contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget.
Our decisive contribution of Italy to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the leadership of Italian Generals have been recognized. Through the UN Global Service Centre in Brindisi, Italy offers direct major support to UN logistics efforts. We also provide active assistance to the United Nations in the pre-deployment training of police officers through the Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) in Vicenza, which works closely with the UN Standing Police Capacity in Brindisi. Italy is a strong supporter of the innovation and modernization of UN peacekeeping, enabling the Organization to face new threats and challenges, especially the protection of civilians. The MONUSCO “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)” programme is a technological first for the UN.
The Permanent Mission of Italy is proud to have co-facilitated this year’s report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations which, for the first time, mentioned the use of such technological tools to enhance situational awareness and force protection.
It is in this same spirit that Italy also strongly supports the EU’s actions in crisis management. Together with Germany, we have deployed human resources to all 16 Common Security Defense Policy (CSPD) Missions. The traditional areas of expertise of our Armed Forces, which include a specific Police Capacity, can make civ-mil cooperation more effective in assisting populations afflicted by natural disasters[, adding to the crisis management capabilities]. Under Italy’s Presidency of the EU Council in 2003, renewed EU-UN cooperation in crisis management began through the adoption of the “Joint Declaration on EU-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management.” The Declaration established a consultative mechanism to improve coordination in the areas of mission planning, civilian and military training, communication and the sharing of best practices. Many significant achievements have followed since then. A priority of the EU Security Strategy of December 2003 was “strengthening the UN, equipping it to fulfill its responsibilities and to act effectively.” In 2007, under the German Presidency of the EU, a “Joint Statement on EU-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management” was adopted, reflecting lessons learned on the African continent, where UN and EU missions were more and more intertwined.
New momentum for EU-UN partnership was generated by the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the adoption, in June 2012, of an “EU Plan of Action for CSDP Support to UN Peacekeeping” which defines clear steps and deadlines for EU-UN cooperation. The Action Plan recognizes that “supporting effective multilateralism and contributing to UN efforts in peacekeeping have been, since the inception of CSPD, at the forefront of EU engagement in the field of crisis management.”
EU-UN partnership is heavily “operations-driven.” A recent, pragmatic example: the Mission in the Central African Republic. In April the Foreign Affairs Council stressed that the EUFOR CAR CSDP Mission, “by providing temporary support for a maximum period of six months . . . should contribute to providing a secure environment in the Bangui area, with a view to handing over operations to MISCA or to a UN peacekeeping operation.” EUFOR CAR comprises some 1,000 military and police troops from 13 participating states, and a EUROGENDFOR Integrated Police Unit. The MINUSCA peacekeeping operation was established by resolution 2149, while the hand-over from EUFOR CAR to the broader MINUSCA entails cooperation at all levels, thus making the EU-UN partnership closer than ever.
There are many other examples of the value of close EU-UN cooperation in crisis management. Just to name a few, there is UNSMIL in Libya, with 15 UN Agencies on the ground, and the EUBAM Libya CSDP Mission; the UNMIK and EULEX CSDP Missions in Kosovo and in Somalia; the EU CSDP Training Mission EUTM Somalia and the UN UNSOM Mission; and the EUTM Mali and UN MINUSMA Missions.
These examples underline the European Union’s support for the values, purposes and principles embodied in the United Nations Charter. The UN Security Council welcomes close cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union, encouraging both organizations to further strengthen their institutional relations and strategic partnership, including through regular briefings by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Security Council.
In light of these developments, two years after the adoption of the Plan of Action, the Italian Presidency of the EU would like to take stock of the best practices and lessons learned in EU-UN cooperation and further build on this partnership. This is why we are pleased to host with Germany – and with the support of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), the International Peace Institute (IPI), and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) – two high-level regional seminars. The seminars will take place during the Italian Presidency of the EU Council, and will be in Rome and Berlin, followed by a final conference in Brussels. The Rome seminar, from October 22nd to the 23rd, will be dedicated to “military and police capabilities” as well as “training strategies, standards and delivery.” The seminars will be followed on October 24th by an international seminar, in the framework of Europe’s New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi), focused on the issue of pre-deployment training of civilian crisis management personnel.
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
As a founding member of the EU, Italy firmly believes in the vision of the United States of Europe, and a unique European foreign and defense policies. Italy has always embraced the vision and the values of the United Nations Charter. The UN and the EU are two sides of the same coin, two paths leading to the same goal: a peaceful world. For this we need more Europe in UN Peacekeeping, and my country is proud to be on the frontline, together with Germany and all other willing parties, in this commitment.
Excellencies & Colleagues,