Mr. Chair, Mr. Assistant Secretary-General,
Let me first of all congratulate you Mr. Chair (Sweden – Ambassador Skoog) on your assumption of the PBC’s chairmanship; and Brazil (Ambassador Patriota) on assumption of the Vice-Chairmanship. We are confident that under your able guidance we will make much needed progress in this body. Let me also congratulate the Chairs of the Country-Specific Configurations on their re-election.
The presence of Italy in the PBC follows our traditional engagement in peacekeeping operations and reflects our careful attention on matters linked to the “institution building”, as witnessed by the Italian commitment in different operative areas, such as Lebanon, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. We are engaged to ensure that peace building tools receive the needed attention at the political as well as the financial level to preserve our initial peacemaking and peacekeeping investments. There are some areas of instability, very close to us, which may hopefully need the attention of the PBC soon.
Italy welcomes the Report of the PBC on its 8th session and congratulates Brazil and Antonio Patriota for its excellent leadership in 2014. Under your chairmanship the Commission made very important progress in improving its working methods and in bringing political attention to key priorities for the countries on its agenda. In particular, we welcome the initiative of holding the first PBC Annual Session in June last year. We recognize the important work done by the Chair in the preparation and conduct of the Annual Session and note that Italy sponsored a well attended side event on the future of peacebuilding in the Central African Republic.
I take this opportunity to underline the continuous Italian commitment among other areas to CAR, including through the Comunita’ Sant’Egidio’s mediation efforts, which promoted a inter-religious and political mediation process that culminated in the signing of the “Rome Appeal” last 27 February by the major leaders of the country.
We believe that promoting an inclusive political process is instrumental to reinforce national ownership and essential for leveraging local expertise and capacity in the UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. Inclusiveness is key, also for gender-based issues which will be at the heart of every peacebuilding effort in war ravaged societies. Peacebuilding architecture and Resolution 1325 ongoing reviews should be carried out in a synergistic manner.
You mentioned improved relations with regional and sub-regional organizations; it is in our view a central aspect to which we should give maximum priority.
We are ready to bring forward the discussions initiated last year and support the proposal made by the new Presidency to focus the next Annual Session on “Predictable financing for peace building”. In this regard we welcome the convening of the Annual Session of the PBC and the annual Stakeholder meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund around the same dates.
We welcome the role the PBC played in bringing attention to the peacebuilding implications of the Ebola crises in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. We fully support the decision of the Commission to follow-up on the UN Ebola recovery initiative and we look forward to hearing the update from UNDP in the informal segment of this meeting.
We support the work the Commission did in proposing the Terms of Reference for the 2015 Review, endorsed by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Italy is confident that the broad consensus the review process enjoys among Member States will lead to a stronger and more effective Commission.
Looking ahead, Italy welcomes the decision of the Chair to present to Member States the indicative work plan for the Organizational Committee. This is a useful tool which will allow delegations to strengthen their engagement with the Commission. Italy stands ready to support the PBC Chair in bringing forward the important work streams identified in the Forward Agenda.
In conclusion, Italy, wants to invest in the PBC; in the next years, it should become one of the pillars of UN intervention in crisis situation. In this context, we must review the balance between action and reaction, where action is mediation and peacebuilding and reaction is the peacekeeping tool.