I am confident that under your able guidance and with the assistance of the Working Group Chair Ambassador Grant we will undergo fruitful deliberations and will consensually adopt our Report. I thank also the many delegations who are working with the Chair to put forward proposals for this year Report.
I welcome also the very informative briefing delivered by the USG Ladsous.
As a longstanding and committed partner in UN peacekeeping, in terms of shared values, financial support and troops, Italy strongly supports the ongoing efforts of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations for more focused and effective peacekeeping missions in the future. Such efforts, inscribed in the more comprehensive exercise carried out through the Review of the UN Peace Operations, should produce a thorough assessment of the current state on UN Peace operations and future needs. Italy stands ready to further provide inputs and assessments, taking into account the experience gained through our leading participation in UNIFIL since 2006 and other relevant international operations.
Italy firmly believes in the value of a comprehensive approach in crisis management. Conflict prevention, confidence-building measures and mediation instruments must be given also the necessary space and resources.
Peacekeeping operations will continue playing a central role in crisis management. Challenges in force generation, deploybility and sustainability remain significant. Lessons-learned from current operations need to be drawn systematically. Italy is ready to contribute to such process, especially with respect to sustainability, synergies with the whole UN system on the field and other UN missions (“inter-mission cooperation”), institution building in the security sector and close integration of civil and military components. The Chief of Mission/Force Commander’s mediation role should be considered, too.
We consider that bridging and support arrangements with regional organizations should be established. TCCs and regional organizations capabilities should be strengthened, in particular concerning command, control and communications, logistics, and intelligence. Supporting UN missions with critical enablers is essential. Senior mission leadership is a crucial element for the success of the missions: interaction with local actors, strong engagement in ensuring coherence and effective civil-military cooperation are requested.
Protection of civilians
Protection of civilians is a growing challenge for UN missions where the security contexts remain volatile and reconciliation processes fragile. The UN should provide a strategic vision on such a crucial topic. An effective protection of civilians requires a strong unity of intent among the UN membership and the establishment of a culture of accountability. We must strengthen the support to the International Criminal Court, by including the cooperation with ICC and an accountability dimension in peace operations mandates. Appropriate follow up to Security Council referrals must be ensured; strengthening national judicial systems is important, too.
Italy is a staunch supporter of the Responsibility to Protect.
As demonstrated by the use of UUAVs in MONUSCO, modern technologies are offering new avenues to fulfil missions’ goals, to best ensure the protection of civilians as well as to increase the security of the missions’ personnel.
Training is crucial for the success and reputation of the missions. There is an ever-growing need for qualified and equipped personnel –civilian, military, and police- to ensure the effectiveness of increasingly complex and multi-dimensional missions. Italy has a strong record in training national personnel for peace operations. Respect of human rights, protection of civilians and gender perspective are embedded in national military training curricula. Since 2005, the Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) in Vicenza trained almost 6000 police personnel from 30 different countries, over 50% of which from Africa, thus contributing to consolidated standards. Meanwhile, in Iraq and Afghanistan tens of thousands of local military and police forces have been trained by our mentors and advisers.
Italy could also contribute with other training opportunities for UN military personnel, such as Staff Officers courses, focusing on planning, as well as Security Sector Reform courses.
Leadership training is key as well: full use of in house training opportunities and tools should be made, considering the vast offer by the UN System Staff College in Torino, the Global Service Centre in Brindisi and the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe. A strong signal – both politically and financially – of the importance of training is needed.
Within the EU, we are working to strengthen UN/EU coordination efforts through standardized approaches by cooperating on the planning, implementation, evaluation and harmonization of training. Establishing a compatible training recognition system for both Organisations is key.
Civilian cooperation and capacity
Experience has showed the tremendous need of countries in post-conflict and fragile situations have for effective civilian and institutional capabilities. A sustainable peace is not likely to be achieved in absence of strong civilian capacities. These capacities are critical to guarantee resilient institutions to take root and reduce the risk of renewed violence.
Italy sees the importance of a qualified presence in peacekeeping operations of civilian components, whose role and mandate should be clearly defined.
As United Nations we need to translate into deeds our best intentions. We have a unique opportunity to tackle both longstanding and emerging challenges to UN Peace operations. Our ongoing efforts both in this body, as well as through the Review, should lead to the adoption of ambitious and operational recommendations.