Thank you, Madame Chair,
for taking the initiative to convene this open debate on such an important topic. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General and the briefers for their remarks.
Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the representative of the European Union and wishes to add a few remarks in a national capacity.
As pointed out by Nigeria in the concept note circulated for this meeting, the contemporary global security system increasingly hinges on cooperation between the Security Council and regional and sub-regional organizations.
Regional organizations can at times be better positioned to respond to emergencies or crises. The United Nations —this Council— should thus use their comparative advantage while assuring coherence in the response of the international community and avoid duplications.
While the partnership in peace operations between the UN and some organizations, like the EU, is already well-established, we think that it could be further intensified. On the operational level, for instance, cooperation in Support and Logistics, enhancing information and analysis exchange, cooperation in Rule of Law and Defence / Security Sector Reform may prove beneficial.
This is also true when it comes to the cooperation between the EU and other regional organizations such as the African Union. We welcome and support the efforts of the AU to strengthen its capacities in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacekeeping and its active role in defining and implementing African solutions to African problems. We are also ready to promote and support other regional and sub-regional initiatives in this field.
We know that three pillars build the scheme of cooperation between the UN and regional organizations on security:
For each pillar Italy is strongly committed to further strengthening those relationships, consistently with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. Today, we would like to focus on five related challenges and propose some concrete solutions which underlie the three pillars.
First, achieving coherence. While we can state, today, that coordination has improved, UN mandates are still rather general. This factor enables a decentralized decision-making process which sometimes overlaps or is not properly coordinated with UN Headquarters. In this regard, we should strive to ensure clarity on respective mandates at the highest political level.
Second, creating a common culture in the field through training and guidance. Training is crucial to ensure the success and the reputation of the 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 over 5,000 police personnel from different countries to be deployed in peacekeeping operations. CoESPU represents a common training platform with other regional organizations including in the Middle East and Asia. Leadership training is key as well. To this end, full use of in-house training opportunities and tools should be made, considering the extensive offerings by the United Nations System Staff College in Torino, the Global Service Center in Brindisi and the Regional Service Center in Entebbe.
Third, protecting civilians and ensuring justice. Italy has signed the Kigali Declaration on the Protection of Civilians, a document that is setting a standard that should be followed by the international community. In order to deliver an effective protection of civilians, strong unity of intent among the UN membership is needed. And we must strengthen our support for the International Criminal Court, also by ensuring appropriate follow-up to Security Council referrals. The effective protection of civilians requires establishing a culture of accountability. Priority should be given to strengthening national judicial systems, including through capacity building and support measures organized in cooperation between the UN, the ICC and regional organizations. Italy is a supporter of the reinforcement of early warning mechanisms. In this respect we supported the Office of the Special Advisers for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect in last year’s review of the “Framework of Analysis” for detecting atrocity crimes. Synergies with early warning mechanisms of regional organizations should be explored.
Fourth, ensuring a comprehensive approach through coordinated support for the Justice and Security Sector. Rule of Law and SSR activities have been at the core of both UN and EU missions over the past decade. However, interpretations of what the rule of law and SSR mean – and how to implement them on the ground – still differ. While the UN has been able to achieve system-wide coordination on these issues, internal coherence on the CSDP side may be further improved. The cooperation in place in Mali might set a good precedent for future endeavors. The EU’s SSR mission, EUCAP Sahel Mali, has been prepared in close collaboration with DPKO. We should also work for a standing working group on SSR and the Rule of Law, which serves regional organizations and the UN.
Fifth and finally, investing financial and political capital in the prevention of conflicts. Preventing conflicts means affirming the primacy of politics, of dialogue, and of mediation as essential tools to address global contemporary challenges of global security. In this framework, the role of civil society is crucial. We believe that engaging with the civil society works best if it is a two-way process. It is important that regional organizations strengthen civil society’s role, including through the promotion of human rights, support for the role of women, access to healthcare and justice. Italy is particularly active in these areas, a distinctive cross-cutting feature of all initiatives of Italian foreign cooperation all over the world. And it is also important that we use the effective tools offered by NGOs and communities, streamlining cooperation with them in the field and using their local knowledge and networks to jointly promote dialogue and pre-emptive diplomacy.
Let me also briefly mention the issue of migration, a question that is transnational by definition and therefore simply cannot be adequately addressed without consistent, close cooperation between States, international and regional organizations, such as the League of the Arab States and the African Union.
Italy is today at the forefront of the efforts to deal with migration flows in the Mediterranean Sea and will spare no efforts to keep saving the lives of hundreds of migrants every day. But solutions must be sustainable. Therefore humanitarian interventions to save lives must be coupled with a comprehensive approach capable to deal with the root causes of migration and to do so in a partnership with all stakeholders involved. That is why Italy is actively supporting the efforts to underpin new regional cooperation frameworks in this sector, for example with the creation of the Rabat and Khartoum processes. Italy is committed to accelerating as much as possible the implementation of concrete projects that will show the tangible benefits of this cooperation both in African and European countries.
I thank you, Madame Chair.