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Assemblea Generale – Conferenza Ministeriale su “2019 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial on Uniformed Capabilities, Performance and Protection”

Discorso pronunciato dal Sottosegretario agli Affari Esteri e alla Cooperazione Internazionale, On. Manlio Di Stefano, alla Conferenza “2019 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial on Uniformed Capabilities, Performance and Protection” —

Mr. Secretary-General,
Excellencies, distinguished colleagues,

I would like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for convening this important event and for his insightful leadership in enhancing the UN peacekeeping and making it “fit for purpose”.

Italy reiterates its support for the Secretary-General’s vision and encourages him to advance his vision of a “peace continuum” agenda.

Indeed we cannot forget the people – in particular the most vulnerable ones – who look at the United Nations for peace and a better life. Whenever UN peacekeeping missions manage to meet their expectations, our commitment and investment can be considered productive.

Mr. Chair,

Italy, which is the first contributor of Blue Helmets in the Western Group and one of the most generous contributors to the peacekeeping budget, is deeply committed to enhance the UN peacekeeping.

Today, I would like to highlight the decision of the Government of Italy to confirm the pledge of valuable units and assets to the “UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System. For 2019, Italy offers maneuver units, such as an Infantry battalion and a Force Protection Unit, complemented by a basket of niche skillsets and enablers, Utility Helicopters and a Landing Platform Dock ship.

Our commitment extends well beyond the mere operative domain.

Defense Capacity Building activities play a key-role to guarantee the high-level of performance requested to the “blue helmets”. To this end, a thorough structured training system – based on a net of federated Nations’ Schools and Centers of Excellences – is required, and potentially already feasible.

Italy has already put in place a fruitful cooperation with the UN in the educational and training sector. The Post-Conflict Operation Study Centre in Turin shares experiences and entertains cooperative relations with the UN System Staff College, in Turin.

Italy is providing courses to military units in the Security Force Assistance field through the Security Force Assistance Branch of the Infantry School located near Rome. This complements the capacities already offered by the multinational Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units, located in Vicenza which offers a valuable support in favor of Formed Police Units for UN operations. We can also provide basic courses in specific fields, so as to increase the performance of peacekeepers.

I would like to mention that, for the current year, we are offering, upon bilateral request, a new set of courses regarding the gender perspective and the deployment of Female Engagement Teams.

Italy is also highly committed to the implementation of the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda. In the last few years, we have been making a huge effort on integrating gender perspectives, at all levels and in all branches of our military organization.

Furthermore, Italy fully supports the UN zero tolerance policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse through specific pre-deployment training courses, carried out by trained Legal Advisors.

I would like to reconfirm our commitment in this respect by announcing here today an additional contribution of 160,000 euros to the Trust Fund to support the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Finally, let me remind that Italy is also strong committed to promote an efficient environmental management of field operations. Managing the footprint of peacekeeping operations, in often fragile environments, improves the safety and security of peacekeepers, of the staff of the United Nations and of the local populations we are mandated to protect, ultimately resulting in better mandate delivery.

I thank you.