Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al meeting della Commissione Speciale delle Nazioni Unite sulle Operazioni di Pace (C34) —
It is a real pleasure to see you presiding this meeting.
Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier by the European Union and would like to add a few remarks in its national capacity.
In today’s fast evolving security scenarios, peacekeeping remains a very powerful instrument at our disposal to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts and still provides a crucial contribution to our collective and comprehensive efforts to restore and sustain peace.
As first contributor of Blue Helmets in the Western Group and one of the greatest financial supporters to peacekeeping, Italy is particularly aware of the multiple challenges peace operations are facing today.
The pursuit of sustainable peace and the protection of civilians should guide our efforts, and always be our ultimate aims. Therefore, peacekeeping operations should have well defined and realistic mandates. They should also have a clear political strategy and all the necessary means to fully implement their tasks.
Pre-deployment and in-mission training is also essential. It provides peacekeepers with up-to-date knowledge, high professional and ethical standards, and common operating procedures. Italy has a strong record in training military and police personnel for peace operations and stands ready to provide its contribution. In this respect, I wish to mention the role of the CoESPU Training Center in Vicenza, which already entertains a very productive cooperation with the relevant UN Department.
We also have to work jointly to increase the number and role of women in the field, as well as to keep on providing peacekeeping operations with our best troops, first-quality equipment and appropriate enablers.
This is the best way to enhance the performance of peacekeeping operations, while ensuring the protection of civilians as well as the safety and security of our peacekeepers and humanitarian actors.
Let me stress that we also strongly advocates in favor of an increasing consideration of the environmental impact in the management of UN peace missions.
In February 2018, Italy, together with Bangladesh, launched the “Group of Friends for leading on environmental management in the field”, with the main purpose to support the implementation of the environment strategy for field missions issued in 2016 by the then Department of Field Support.
The strategy clearly illustrates how environmental management, beyond being instrumental in “doing no harm” to the ecosystems of the host country, can strengthen operational effectiveness and efficiency in many ways, from enhancing the safety and security of peacekeepers to restoring confidence locally and building a positive legacy after the mission has left.
The success of the environment strategy requires the collaboration of multiple actors bringing together different perspectives, knowledge and resources. Most notably, it requires sustained support from the Membership. The Group of Friends played an instrumental role in including this issue in the Declaration of Shared Commitments under “Action for Peacekeeping” and is committed to promote further awareness and interactions among Member States, the Secretariat and field missions.
The Security Council has made specific reference to the environmental impact of operations in several resolutions concerning peacekeeping operation. In December 2017, the Council also issued a press statement underlining the importance of addressing comprehensively the environmental impact of peacekeeping operations.
The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations of the General Assembly can now play a key role in advancing the implementation of the environmental management strategy and therefore we encourage the Committee to address this issue in its reports. By prompting continued consideration for the reduction of the environmental impact of peacekeeping missions, the Committee may indeed promote a substantial increase in the number of clients contributing to the strategy. Let me recall that advancing the implementation of the environment strategy is a “win-win” agenda where the interests of all relevant parties – host countries, as well as troop and police-contributing countries – can only converge.
I would like to conclude by joining previous speakers in paying the most respectful tribute to all the men and women who are serving the values of the United Nations in the field bringing peace and security where they are mostly needed as well as to those who have lost their lives doing so over the years.
I thank you.