Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.
Italy welcomes today’s adoption of the resolution on the Review of the Peace Building Architecture and the debate on the annual report of the Peace Building Commission and of the Peace Building Fund.
At the outset, I wish to thank the co-facilitators – Ambassadors Bird of Australia and Gaspar Martins of Angola – for their tireless work; the Advisory Group of Experts and its Chair – Amb. Rosenthal – for their insight; current PBC Chair – Amb. Kamau – and previous Chair – Amb. Skoog, as well as the ASG for Peace Building Support, Amb. Fernandez-Taranco.
As a member of the Organizational Committee of the PBC, Italy looks forward to the concrete implementation of today’s resolution which will lead to a strengthened Peacebuilding Commission; reinforce its role as a valuable tool for the Security Council; and enhance the UN’s overall capacity in the field of preventive diplomacy.
We have before us a very comprehensive review of the sector. I will briefly touch upon some points which are particularly dear to Italy.
First of all, the change in mind-set and the new concept of “sustaining peace”. It is not just a matter of words. It has profound implications on how we carry out our work. Peacebuilding should no longer be seen as a post-conflict activity as the challenge of sustaining peace runs across the complete cycle of our engagement to prevent conflicts and avoid relapse.
In practical terms, Italy believes we have to implement an integrated strategy to prevent cross-regional threats, such as extremist violence and terrorism, illicit trafficking, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, by addressing their root causes; and to sustain peace, once achieved, by capacity and institution building initiatives.
Second, the UN is now the main global enabler of partnerships to sustain peace. Greater cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, multilateral institutions and civil society organizations, is therefore essential and Italy stands ready to do its part and use all its means to this end. In this context, the PBC’s country configurations play a pivotal role.
Third, Italy endorses the importance given to women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding. We recognize the continuing need to increase representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, and the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace. This is also why last September our Prime Minister pledged to give more resources, up to 50 millions of Euros in the next two years, to programs dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
My last point, is on the need to secure more predictable funding to peacebuilding, and namely to the PBF. Strengthening the cooperation with the World Bank and other financial institutions as well as addressing the silo approach of the donor community are pivotal issues. But we also need to deploy alternative resources for peacebuilding activities, including non-monetary contributions and contributions from the private sector.
In this regard, Italy has already decided to resume its contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund throughout 2016. Our objective is to do more, by ensuring adequate and predictable funds for peacebuilding through long-term commitments. Italy strongly believes that – bearing in mind the cost of conflicts and instability – preventive diplomacy is not only the right choice, but also the smart choice.
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 and to building and sustaining peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.