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Peacebuilding Commission – Meeting sul Gambia

Intervento dell’ Italia durante il meeting della Peacebuilding Commission sul Gambia —

Thank you, Mr. Chair, thank you for convening this meeting and please extend our deepest condolences to Ambassador Jinga for the loss he suffered.

I also want to thank H.E. Mr. Abubacarr M. Tambadou, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia, for the update he gave us on the transitional justice process, including the recently launched Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission and also thanks to USG Taranco and DPA and UNDP for their report on the activities that they are carrying on in the country.

Italy commends the Gambia for the new democratic phase inaugurated by the 2016 presidential elections, which we encouraged and supported also during our mandate in the Security Council last year and we continue to support here in the PBC which has a crucial role in the institutional-building process, supporting the transitional justice process, empowering women and creating new opportunities for the young people.

Italy is actively engaged alongside the Gambia in four main areas:

First, stabilization and consolidation of the democratic gains achieved by the country. At the European level, we advocated for a strong financial support to especially for ECOMIG, the stabilization mission run by ECOWAS, which played a fundamental role in the resolution of the 2017 crisis.

Second, Institution-building. Italy is providing training course for police officers in border control activities and we have a strong collaboration between police forces with a special focus on the fight against human trafficking.

Human trafficking is indeed the third area of engagement for us. Through our Africa Fund, Italy is financing a 2 million dollar project run by UNICEF aimed at protecting children at risk of migration in the Gambia, as well as a 5 million dollar regional project aimed at raising awareness on the risks of migration among the young population.

Fourth, creating economic opportunities, especially for the youth. Italy is the second largest contributor for the already mentioned European Union Trust Fund for emergencies against the root causes of migration in Africa. We are also working, together with the Gambian Government, to some projects involving Italian companies, in order to create multi-stakeholders partnerships.

We do believe in the need for a stronger involvement of the private sector in order for the African development to be sustainable in the long term. This was also one of the main topic of the Italy Africa Conference which took place in Rome few weeks ago. We hope this subject will become more and more relevant in the activity of the PBC, regarding the Gambia and all the African continent.

Thank you very much.