Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Mediation and settlement of disputes” —
I wish to thank the United Kingdom for convening this debate, and the Secretary-General and all the briefers for their valuable contributions.
Italy aligns itself with the statements delivered by the EU and the GoF of mediation,
Experience has proved that the recourse to peaceful means for the prevention and settlement of disputes and crises, is the best solution and the most cost-effective one. Among the peaceful tools at our disposal, mediation is a key. It is a vital instrument to give substance to the Sustaining Peace agenda. It is not just a way to overcome crises: it is also an occasion to reinvigorate the positive forces of a country, promote dialogue and inclusiveness, and ultimately eliminate the root causes of conflicts.
The UN plays an essential role in promoting mediation, most notably through the Department of Political Affairs and its Mediation Support Unit. Strengthening the capabilities embedded in UN missions in the field is also a crucial measure. The creation and deployment of Peace and Development Advisers is an important step in this direction.
The Secretary General has injected new energy into this dynamic by promoting a “surge in diplomacy” and establishing the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. The dialogue the UN is fostering in different parts of the world such as Libya, the Horn of Africa and Colombia, is a tangible example of this.
As a proud partner of DPA, Italy has consistently scaled up its contribution to the Department in support of its mediation activities, and will provide additional funding soon. Italy is also partnering with UNWOMEN and UNDP to promote the inclusion of women and a gender perspectives into peace, national dialogue and reconciliation processes and to develop the necessary capabilities.
We encourage the Secretary-General to fully exert his powers under art. 99 of the Charter.
The Security Council should adopt more frequently the informal-meeting format to discuss issues that, while not being formally on the agenda, still deserve its attention, and it should be briefed more frequently by the relevant civil society actors. As a member of the Peacebuilding Commission, Italy believes that inviting the chairs of country configurations to brief the Council is a practice that should be regularly pursued.
The United Nations should also strengthen partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations in the area of mediation. Civil society actors are also important partners. I take the example of the support that the Comunita’ di Sant’Egidio provided to the Central African Republic peace process.
Mediation can produce sustainable and lasting solutions only if it is inclusive. Women, in particular, play an essential role in reconciliation processes and in building inclusive societies and therefore a lasting peace. Today, however, too few women are involved in mediation.
Italy attaches great importance to ensuring the full and active participation of women in conflict prevention, management and resolution and in post-conflict efforts. This has been a priority of our term in the Security Council and is a key issue we are promoting through our candidature to the Human Rights Council for the 2019-2021 term. Italy has launched the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network in order to promote the meaningful participation of women in peace processes in the Mediterranean region.
To conclude, Mr. President,
Italy reaffirms its strong commitment to mediation as a tool to overcome the most complex challenges. In this spirit we will continue to work relentlessly to create opportunities and platforms for dialogue. In October Italy will host the Italy-Africa Conference, and in November the fourth edition of the Mediterranean Dialogues. Finally, as announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italy will also host an international conference on Libya.
I thank you.