Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito Aperto in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Addressing Complex Contemporary Challenges to International Peace and Security” —
At the outset I thank the Secretary-General for his briefing and the Japanese Presidency for organizing this important, lively and timely meeting and Italy would like to align itself to the statement to be delivered by the representative of the European Union.
This Open Debate allows us to reflect on how the Security Council has been addressing, especially this year, the contemporary challenges to international peace and security: from terrorism to extremism, transnational organized crime, trafficking in persons, to grave violations of human rights, massive displacement, humanitarian crises and the increasingly adverse effects of climate change..
The Council has recognized, in many instances, their interconnected nature and their role as drivers and multipliers of conflicts. It also concurred on the need to address them in a comprehensive and integrated manner.
As the Secretary-General called for in his first address to the Council in January, a shift from reaction to prevention of conflicts, based on the concept of peace continuum, should be at the core of our endeavor to make the UN action more consistent and more effective.
And Italy fully shares and supports this approach, mainly along three directions.
First: we must continue to analyze the interconnected nature of contemporary challenges and their impact on international peace and stability. During our mandate, Italy has focused the attention of this Council on trafficking in persons and on its link with terrorism, organized crime, mass displacement and serious violations of human rights. We have also addressed the issue of the protection of cultural heritage from destruction and trafficking by terrorist groups, in order to counter the financing of their activities and protect communities’ cultural identity. By unanimously adopting Resolutions 2388 and 2347, this Council demonstrated its cohesive will to counter these scourges, which constitute a threat to international peace and security. In the same vein, last week, Italy organized an Arria formula meeting on the security implications of climate change.
Also, addressing the root causes of conflicts must remain our priority, if we want to prevent conflicts from emerging or recurring. During our Presidency, the Briefing on Security Challenges in the Mediterranean region highlighted the nexus between peace, security, socioeconomic development and human rights, as wells as the urgent need to put people’s needs and rights at the center of our action. Protection and empowerment of people are key to build resilient and inclusive societies, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustaining Peace Agendas.
Second: a broader and preventive use of the entire toolbox at the UN disposal is essential to allow an early engagement of the Council in situations that may escalate or relapse into conflict and to define a preventive action by the United Nations’ system as a whole.
In this regard, I would like to recall two recent, important initiatives undertaken by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in line with art. 99 of the Charter: his letters on the Four Famines and on the situation in Rakhine. We encourage him to fully exert this prerogative whenever it is needed.
In addition, it is important to develop more effective early warning systems. As an example, the Framework of Analysis for atrocity crimes should be more widely used. The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General should brief the Council on a more regular basis. The Council should make full use of informal meeting formats to discuss issues that may not be formally on its agenda but deserve its attention. Security Council’s missions, as we have seen, are also a very important tool yo better understand specific security contexts and adjust our action accordingly, as demonstrated by this year’s visits to the Lake Chad region, to Colombia and to the Sahel, among others.
the United Nations’ capacity is unparalleled and must be fully exploited by improving synergy and coordination among all UN actors at Headquarters and on the ground. The role peacekeeping operations, special political missions, country teams and specialized Agencies, Funds and Programmes play in building and sustaining peace must be further strengthened by better integrating and implementing fully the concept of peace continuum. The Council must uphold the principles of the peacekeeping reform when addressing country-specific situations, bearing in mind the need for clear entry, transition and exit strategies, the primary goal to support inclusive political processes, to foster resilient societies and national ownership. Haiti, for example, with the establishment of MINUJUSTH, has provided a model case of transition. Equally, peacekeeping missions must be equipped to focus on capacity-building: in this regard, Resolution 2382 that Italy has promoted with other Members of the Council, recognized and enhanced the importance of the police component in bridging the UN’s work from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.
Third: we must focus on the way forward. The Secretary-General’s proposals of reform of the UN system are coherent with the Council’s work on these topics. The Council should continue to provide its full and united support to the Secretary-General’s efforts as we all look forward to a more effective, flexible, transparent, efficient and accountable Organization, one in which the various bodies of the Organization work together and act together.
As underscored by the Secretary-General, the United Nations are not alone in their efforts for peace. Partnerships with regional organizations and civil society are fundamental to improve coherency of action across the three pillars and along the conflict cycle in line with the subsidiarity principle.
In closing, we think it is imperative to break the silos approach and build upon the broad consensus we have on the substance, as also today’s debate confirmed. This Council is capable to be effective, to live up to its responsibilities and to stand united in confronting contemporary challenges to peace and security with innovative thinking and bold actions.
Finally, Mr. President, since this is my last personal intervention in the Security Council as the mandate of Italy nears the end, allow me, first of all, to congratulate your team, your delegation for your work and for your excellent Presidency of the month of December and also to extend to all delegations around the table my personal and my team’s thanks and gratitude for all the cooperation during this intense year in the Security Council.
I thank you, Mr. President.