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Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al dibattito in Consiglio di Sicurezza sul “Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture”

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this debate, which gives us the opportunity to discuss the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture and the UN’s efforts to sustain peace. Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

2016 is a year of opportunities for strengthening the UN’s capacity to “deliver as one.” It is our responsibility to improve the peacebuilding efforts of the whole UN system, first and foremost by ensuring coherent action by all relevant stakeholders. In this perspective, it is of the utmost importance to take an integrated approach to the three major reviews underway – the future of peacekeeping, the role of women in peace and security, and the architecture of peacebuilding.

As a member of the Peace Building Commission (PBC) Organizational Committee, Italy is confident that under the leadership of the new Chair, Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, this will be another year of significant achievements. In addition, the ambitious outcome of the Review, which we expect to see reflected in the resolution by the end of March, will pave the way for a strengthened PBC.

There is growing awareness of the importance of the PBC’s bridging role – through its preventive and multi-dimensional approach to conflict – in the face of rapidly-changing security challenges. Massive migration flows, climate change, and human rights violations are notable examples of crisis drivers, and their growing impact on international peace and security deserves our attention.

In this framework, Italy believes that the ongoing review of the Peacebuilding Architecture should reshape the PBC to make it a more complete tool and enhance the UN’s overall capacity in the field of preventive diplomacy. The PBC can play an important role in gathering all the relevant stakeholders both in- and outside the UN. We therefore support a closer relationship between the Security Council and the PBC, which we consider a valuable tool available to the Council to enhance its preventive diplomacy capacity. As a first practical measure, we believe that closer cooperation between the Security Council and the PBC could be ensured by inviting the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to participate in Council meetings as appropriate.

However, the UN should not be seen as the sole peacebuilding actor but rather as the main global enabler of partnerships to sustain peace. It can and must ensure greater cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations, among which the many active in the field of preventive diplomacy. In this context, the UN Development System has a fundamental role to play, as its work on the field is based on a fruitful collaboration with all actors.

Mr. President,

While virtually all Member States acknowledge the importance of long-term solutions to conflict, political attention to peacebuilding and the necessary resources are sorely lacking. There is widespread agreement on the need to secure more predictable funding. In this framework, as recently announced, Italy has decided to resume its contributions to the Peace Building Fund throughout 2016 and is committed to ensuring more predictable funds for peacebuilding.

But we also need to deploy alternative resources for peacebuilding activities that can include non-monetary contributions as well as contributions from the private sector. We should foster cooperation within the UN system, with the World Bank and other regional and international financial institutions, in order to assist affected countries in the mobilization and use of domestic resources for economic and social development, which is essential to preventing the risk of lapsing and relapsing into conflicts.

Let me conclude by highlighting an issue that Italy believes is at the core of building peaceful and inclusive societies: the protection and safeguard of cultural heritage. Preservation of cultural heritage, in particular from terrorist acts and trafficking, and promotion and respect of cultural diversity are key elements in reconciliation and peace-building processes. No society can flourish without culture, no mutual relation can be established without respecting people’s history and soul. For these reasons, building on numerous previous activities, Italy and UNESCO signed on February 16 a landmark agreement to establish a Task Force to protect ancient cultural artifacts in crisis areas. These “Blue Helmets of Culture” are a tangible sign of Italy’s commitment to the Unite For Heritage Campaign.

Thank you, Mr. President.