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Mr. President,

I wish to thank your delegation for organizing this timely debate.

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

The recent attacks in Pakistan and Yemen are yet another terrible reminder of how terrorism threatens international peace and security. We are deeply concerned by the growing ties between terrorism and organized crime phenomena, from trafficking in human beings, drugs and arms to kidnapping. Criminal associations and some terrorist groups use the same illegal instruments and channels, starting with corruption.

These threats transcend the borders of individual States and require a multidimensional approach – and not only the military option – that addresses the root causes. We thus need to strengthen government institutions, rule of law, governance, border control, arms control, control of financial flows. We also need to promote socio-economic development, youthful employment, respect for human rights, and the fight against poverty and corruption.

Mr. President,

We reiterate the need for a comprehensive, coordinated strategy at the global and regional levels. For it to be applied, individual States, the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations, and civil society must all work together.

At the same time, it is fundamental to concretely apply international measures aimed at preventing and reducing terrorism and criminal activities. Starting with full implementation of the Palermo Convention and its Protocols, particularly the United Nations Protocol against trafficking in migrants by land, sea, and air. This is the only universal legal instrument dedicated to this crime. It seeks to prevent and counter trafficking in migrants, protect their rights, and strengthen cooperation between member States.

This commitment was reiterated forcefully during the 69th UNGA in the omnibus resolution on organized crime, of which Italy was the main sponsor again this year. It is in this perspective that we recall the support our Country lent to the resolution on countering organized crime proposed by the African Union and approved yesterday.

Mr. President,

Italy has expressed its commitment to fighting the terrorist threat by contributing to the birth of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF), participating in the main international and regional initiatives, and fully implementing the sanction regimes and Security Council resolutions 2170 and 2178. Italy is also engaged in countering ISIL/Daesh in Libya, Syria, and Iraq.

Italy encourages dialogue and cooperation between Countries of different cultures and religious traditions on countering terrorism.

Italy also believes that combating terrorism, violent extremism, and criminality cannot be independent of efforts to solve political and institutional crises, in the attempt to bring peace to Countries torn apart by violent conflicts, and to improve socio-economic conditions in less developed regions.

In West Africa and the Sahel, Italy has implemented complete sets of programs in the fields of rule of law, institution building, and training. Teams of Italian officers have supported projects to build the capacity of law-enforcement agencies in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria. Italy has also promoted customized police-training programs on border-control techniques and trained African officials at border postings in Italy.

With regard to initiatives to break up the marriage of convenience between criminal networks and terrorist organizations, the Italian Anti-Mafia Bureau signed a M.O.U. with its Nigerian partner on countering trafficking in human beings and the related illegal financial income. All these technical assistance programs are encompassed in the broader framework of development cooperation activities that Italy continues to carry on in several countries of West Africa and the Sahel Region.

New joint initiatives are focused on the fight against trafficking in migrants in all its aspects.

Mr. President,

Today’s debate rightly focuses on connections between countering organized crime and countering terrorism. Its outcomes can provide a useful instrument for better coordinating the initiatives that the international community is called on to enact to address all forms of terrorism and transnational crime. Italy will continue to contribute to these initiatives with commitment.

Thank you.