In Italy’s view, the 2030 Agenda and the ongoing review processes on Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding and on Women, Peace and Security have some underlying themes in common: the importance of conflict prevention first of all, the need to break down silos and foster an integrated approach toward the three pillars of the Organization and the central role of human rights, the respect of which is essential to foster real progress across the board.
The rhetorical battle on conflict prevention has been won. There is broad consensus on its centrality and on the great risks that can stem from inaction. Yet, at the same time, prevention has become more difficult. We must renew our collective commitment to conflict prevention and operationalize the emerging broad consensus among the membership. Allow me to share some of Italy’s ideas.
First, raising awareness. We must recognize that today’s security challenges are different from those of the past and that the security landscape before us is rapidly changing. In September we adopted the ambitious 2030 Agenda, which introduces an integrated approach to sustainable development by linking together the 5Ps: People, Prosperity, Partnership, Planet and Peace. While respecting the different roles and mandates of the UN bodies, closer attention should be paid to broader security issues, which are a matter of concern for a growing part of the membership, and closer cooperation between the General Assembly and the Security Council should be sought. As an example of best practice, allow me to refer to the open debate held during the New Zealand Presidency of the Council on SIDS’ security challenges. We fully supported the initiative and followed it up with a Ministerial Meeting in Milan with our partners from the Small Island Developing States on climate adaptation and food security.
Second, fostering an integrated approach and addressing the root causes. Today’s challenges are complex by nature. As we advocate that the UN must not work in silos, we should refrain from using the same approach. Today we are faced with the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, causing, inter alia, an increased migratory pressure in the Mediterranean where too many lives have been lost. As a Mediterranean country whose Navy is daily engaged in protecting and saving human lives, we understand that there is no quick fix to this phenomenon. It must be tackled from different angles: through development, addressing the root causes; politically, finding solutions to the crises we are facing; respecting human rights and the rights of refugees. As highlighted by last week’s Summit between the EU and Africa on migration, only an integrated approach addressing the root causes can promote a long-term solution. In this regard, as stated by the Italian Prime Minister during the recent G20 Summit, implementing the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals will play a critical also in the prevention of violent extremist acts.
Third, revitalizing the preventive tools at the disposal of this Council, collectively renewing our focus on the peaceful settlement of disputes under Chapter VI of the Charter and deepening our partnerships with regional and sub regional organizations, in particular with the African Union, under Chapter VIII. In the same spirit, Italy believes in closer cooperation between the Security Council and the Peace Building Commission, for instance, by inviting the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to participate in Council meetings, as appropriate. We also welcome the strengthening of “early warning” mechanisms, such as the updated Framework of Analysis of the Office of the UN Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, the Rights Up Front Initiative and the role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. All of these represent valuable tools whose potential should be fully exploited.
My last point is on funding.
First, financing the 2030 Agenda. If we are to tackle the root causes of potential conflicts, we must first and foremost respect our commitment to finance the agenda we have just adopted. In this respect, I can announce that the budget law currently under examination by our Parliament aims at increasing ODA resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by 40% in 2016. The ultimate goal is for Italy’s ODA to reach 0.7% of its gross national income within the deadline of the 2030 Agenda.
Second, resourcing the UN’s preventive tools and peacebuilding activities. The reviews we have carried out highlight that investing in prevention is not only a moral obligation but also a smart investment, as the costs of conflict intervention have become increasingly high. We must now build on this awareness by significantly strengthening the resources devoted to these activities, ensuring a more reliable and predictable funding of the Secretariat’s core prevention and mediation capacities. In the same spirit, it is important that peace building activities be regularly and predictably funded to diminish the chances of conflict relapse.
Thank you, Mr. President.