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Meeting con esponenti della Societa’ Civile

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite e Presidente del Consiglio di Sicurezza, al meeting con gli Esponenti della Societa’ Civile —

First of all, thanks a lot for organizing this briefing.
Italy is a strong believer of the need of increasing the engagement by the Security Council with civil society organizations and meetings like this one are fundamental to increase its efficacy and contact with the reality on the ground.
Indeed, I have already had the chance to meet last September the NGO Working Group on the Security Council and it was a very interesting. Actually, it was Italy, 20 years ago, to start the practice of the meetings of the members of the Security Council with the civil society.

For the program of work of November, we have a number of priorities: 2 geographic and 2 thematic.

Geographically speaking:

1. Africa – it is mandated by cycles of reporting but we are happy to have to deal with it and we will try to make these meetings interesting. We already had CAR, Somalia, and we will have Burundi; South Sudan and Darfur.
2. Mediterranean and the Sahel – we are introducing it with the briefing on security challenges in the Mediterranean on the 16th, the meeting on Libya on the 17th and the open debate on trafficking. The idea is to discuss how the causes of instability are affecting security situation in the MED and how we can collectively tackle the root causes of this instability. The link with the Sahel and the G5 Sahel is evident and we hope we can have results during our Presidency.
In this manner, through a comprehensive analysis of these phenomena, we seek to set directions for a collective engagement to find lasting political solutions to promote regional stability. This is also strictly related to the priority given by the Secretary General on prevention.

The briefings on UNSMIL and the Mediterranean on the 16 and 17 will be chaired by our Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano.

1. Peacekeeping – in continuity with ongoing discussions in the Council, we wanted to contribute to the discussion on how to make our Peace Keeping operations more effective. We had in this sense a fruitful briefing last 6th of November on the contribution of police forces to Peace Keeping missions with the successful adoption of a resolution on this matter. If you are able to secure an area and you don’t have the police and then the judges and the magistrates to keep the order instability will continue. It is a very important issue for us.
2. The individual dimension – it is important to remember that everything we do has an impact on the individual. This is why we started the presidency on the 2nd of November with a briefing by the High Commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi. The last briefing was done in 2009 by Antonio Guterres when he was the head of the agency. In our view the briefing was useful because it provided a timely update on major new crises that have been causing massive displacement. This is one of the biggest challenges of international security: how to address the issue of refugees, how to be able to protect them, how to be able to feed them, to house them. It is about trying to protect the individual: the weakest, the mother, the children. There was a strong support by all the members of the SC and Filippo Grandi was really able to explain why the refugee issue is not just for the agencies, it is for the SC to tackle because it is clearly linked to insecurity situations. The refugee issue is linked to the ways armed conflicts have deepened in complexity over the last decade, often combining with the threats of human trafficking, transnational organized crime, rising violent extremism, sexual and gender based violence.
On the 21st of November we are going to have an open debate on trafficking of persons in conflict situations. It will be talking about the issue of human mobility from Africa especially to the Mediterranean coast . By the way we are going to end the presidency on the 30th of November with another briefing on trafficking or destruction of cultural property in conflict situations. We were able in March to adopt a historic resolution talking about the need to protect cultural heritage. It is about protecting the identity of minorities, the identity of populations.

So far, the Council has already adopted a number of products this month:

1. The mandate renewal of the Somalia-Piracy resolution,
2. The resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina, under Italian penholdership
3. A resolution on the police component of PK Missions, that I already mentioned, proposed by Italy,
4. An important PRST on Myanmar. It was very significant that we were able to do so.

Let me conclude from where I started: the role of civil society. This will be highlighted also during the briefing on the Mediterranean region: we have dedicated a specific paragraph of the concept note to the role of civil society. By the way I just want to mention this is linked with the women issue. Women, peace and security. We think women should be more involved, not only in peacekeeping operations: we need more women mediators.
To this regard, in the framework of our term on the SC, we are proud to have launched in Rome the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network. Youth, also, is an important issue.

Human rights considerations are in the agenda of the council and are linked to the protection of civilians and the responsibility to protect. They are relevant for the SC’s work in conflict prevention, conflict management, and post-conflict recovery. We believe that human rights abuses are often the most effective early warning signs of instability that can escalate into atrocity crimes.

During our term, we have looked at human rights violations in the field to articulate the SC’s response. For instance, in January 2017, based on our proposal, the SC adopted a separate listing criteria on conflict-related sexual violence in the renewal of sanctions on the Central African Republic.

We have also included, together with France, a human rights perspective in the resolution on the protection of cultural heritage (res. 2347) alongside the resolution’s counter-terrorism goals.

Furthermore, in briefings, consultations and negotiations, we have pushed to raise gender-related issues and protection of children not only in the Working Groups on CAAC and WPS but in every relevant country situation. Our experts are working closely with a number of NGOs. Many of the inputs that we are raising in the SC come from NGOs. For instance, last October we organized together with Human Rights Watch and the “Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack” an Arria formula meeting of the SC on attacks on schools. The council was already able to adopt a resolution on attacks on hospitals.