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Mr. Moderator,

First of all, I would like to thank the PGA for convening this important debate and you, Mr. Dieng, for your admirable work, as well as the Secretary-General for his continued role of advocacy. I would also like to commend the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect for her remarkable commitment.

Italy aligns itself with the statements delivered by the European Union and the Group of Friends of RtoP.

We believe that the greatest practical progress achieved in the last ten years is the integration of the human rights dimension in crisis management, peacekeeping and peace-building. The Protection of Civilians is now at the core of the majority of peacekeeping operations and there is a greater attention to human rights violations and abuses in all mandates. There is a need to continue to shift to practical implementation.

We welcome the reviews initiated by the UNSG this year on Peace Operations, the Peacebuilding Architecture and the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325. They offer a valuable opportunity to strengthen the implementation of RtoP in these areas. Italy supports the integration of RtoP and human rights in the activities related to peace and security, in particular by providing effective training of personnel deployed in conflict and post-conflict situations as part of UN, regional organizations or national forces.

Mr. Moderator,

No society is immune from the risk factors outlined in the Secretary General’s report. Furthermore, new challenges, such as non-state armed groups and technological advancements, are changing the landscape of mass atrocity prevention and will require modifications in preventive and protective strategies by all actors.

We have to respond to old and new challenges with a twofold reaction.

First, a stronger political commitment. We commend all the countries that have joined the Global Network of R2P Focal Points. The recent addition of Rwanda marks a significant moment as now more than a quarter of United Nations member states, representing countries from every region of the globe, are showing their commitment to mass atrocity prevention through the appointment of a senior government official as their Focal Point. We also support the initiative to limit the use of veto on such issues.

Second, we need stronger prevention: disseminating early-warning mechanisms, an initiative of the Secretariat that Italy is proud to have supported, is instrumental. Developed by the Office of the Special Advisers on the prevention of genocide and RtoP, the “Framework of Analysis” provides specific guidelines for risk analysis and places a crucial emphasis on the role of non-State actors, such as religious leaders and the media. It is an essential tool to timely identify the risk of atrocity crimes. I am particularly pleased to announce that the next seminar on early warning mechanism and the role of religious leaders in preventing atrocity crimes will be held in Italy in a few days in your presence.  

It is also important to fully include minority groups in mediation and post-reconciliation processes to build strong and resilient societies and to provide humanitarian assistance and development aid to the affected populations and victims of violence. In this regard, Italy is promoting initiatives in order to respond to current crises, for example in Syria and Iraq where we are funding programs to support women, children, people with disabilities as well as religious and ethnic minority groups.

Mr. Moderator,

Like other debates, I hope this one will enable Member States to define the contours and sharpen the understanding of Responsibility to Protect. This is the best moment for advancing the commitment made at the 2005 World Summit.

Thank you, Mr. President.