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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Briefing on Peacekeeping Operations

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente d’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite al briefing del Consiglio di Sicurezza sulle operazioni di peacekeeping —


Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for organizing today’s briefing and ASG Keita for his insightful remarks.

How to make peacekeeping today more effective and efficient is one of the major questions to be addressed. It encompasses not
only the issue of the gaps in terms of force generation and capabilities, recently addressed in the Ministerial Summit in Vancouver, but it is part of the broader reform of the United Nations system. Because peacekeeping is still one very important tool that United Nations can use to address the contemporary challenges to international peace and security we discussed yesterday in the open debate.

Italy is doing its part as a global security provider. We are one of the most generous financial contributors to the peacekeeping budget and we are the first contributor of Blue Helmets in the Western Group. Currently, we have more than 1.000 units deployed in the UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon, Cyprus, Mali andin theMilitary Observer Group in India and Pakistan.

Moreover, our Defense and Police Forces are providing assistance and protection also in other areas of the globe, from Somalia to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Libya, in the Mediterranean, in the Arab Gulf, in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe and, since few weeks, also in Niger in the Sahel region. Wherever its assistance is required, Italy is sparing no effort to build capacity across the board, from border security to election security, from justice and correction practices, to the fight against organized crime and all sort of trafficking.

Mr. President,

Concerning the capability gaps, as ASG Keita said, there is an urgent need for air assets to improve mobility of troops, medical assets to provide assistance and fast medical evacuation, also to civilians if needed, and units for Explosive Ordnance Disposal to remove mines and improvised explosive device (IED). All of these capabilities are in the Italian pledge for the next year, as confirmed in Vancouver.

Technology is key in order to increase the safety and security of peacekeepers. We think that the use of UAVs in MONUSCO has effectively and efficiently improved the gathering of information and provided enhanced situational awareness that was crucial also for the protection of civilians and the safety of humanitarian workers.

Training is also vital to improve capability and ensure that mandates can be effectively delivered on the ground. Since 2005 the Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) in Vicenza, run by our Carabinieri together with US, offers qualified training for UN peacekeepers, through specific training modules on Rule of Law, International humanitarian Law, Protection of Civilians, Cultural Heritage Protection, Environmental management, preventing sexual and gender based violence in conflicts, and focusing in particular on training of trainers courses, especially for military personnel from Western Africa and the Sahel region.

These training programs develop standards and common operating procedures to be applied during robust police activity. We are convinced that future peace operations will be more and more based on specialized police units focused on stabilization, rule of law, justice and the protection of civilians, in line with the reform of the architecture of peace and security envisaged by the Secretary General that emphasizes the need to focus more on prevention, mediation and peace-building. This was also the aim of the Security Council resolution 2382 on policing in peacekeeping we adopted last month.

Mr. President,

Another major gap in peacekeeping operations is the role and presence of women. We need to increase the number of women in UN military and police contingents because the recruitment of a growing number of women at national level today will result in a greater gender balance in the medium-term. Participation of women at all levels is key to improve the effectiveness and performance of missions. Their role is indispensable in all peace and security efforts.

It is also crucial to train peacekeepers to protect people, key values and principles, so as to ensure UN’s credibility and reputation. Let me highlight, in this context, that Italy has joined the Circle of Leadership to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuses, has signed the Voluntary Compact to eliminate the scourge of SEA and has contributed to the Trust Fund to support the victims.

Mr. President,

In terms of strategic planning, we should not forget logistics. The capacity for operations to deliver and accomplish their mandates is closely related to the swiftness of deployment and to the operational effectiveness of field missions. The UN Global Service Center, located in Brindisi since 1994,is a fundamental hub to provide logistic support to peacekeeping missions around the world.

We should also pay attention to the management of the environmental footprint of field missions throughout their lifecycle. A lighter footprint would allow for, cost efficiencies, improved safety and security for troops and for civilians of hosting countries and eventually better mandates delivery.

On this very last aspect, Mr. President, let me thank all the colleagues for the adoption today of the press statement we proposed on the environmental management of peacekeeping operations. For the first time the members of the Security Council recognized the importance of addressing comprehensively the relationship between peacekeeping operations and the environment where they are deployed. This is a win-win goal that has the potential to improve mandate delivery. Italy will continue to support it in all the relevant bodies of the United Nations.