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Assemblea Generale – Riunione Informale della Plenaria “to hear a briefing by the President of the General Assembly on his priorities for 2020”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla Riunione Informale della Plenaria dell’Assemblea Generale “to hear a briefing by the President of the General Assembly on his priorities for 2020” —

Mr President,

Thank you for this briefing on your priorities for the current session of the General Assembly and I also want to say that it is good to see the DSG with us this afternoon and also it is an opportunity for me to thank her for her wisdom, her leadership, and her vision. Her presence gives me the opportunity to say how much the 75th Anniversary of this Organization is fully linked to the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs. I align myself completely with the statement made by the European Union and just would like to make few points.

One is climate change. Raising ambition in the fight against climate change is an absolute priority . Italy wishes and want to help in lead the way. Having already reached the 2020 EU targets on emission reduction, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, We are determined to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
In this spirit, we look forward to working together with the United Kingdom in order to organize a successful COP26 and its preparatory events. While embarking on this journey, we call for all parties to muster the highest level of ambition. In a spirit of continuity with the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York, we will host a significant “Youth Event” in Milan during the pre-COP.

Likewise, recognizing that Africa is set to be the worst affected by the devastating impacts of climate change, Italy will also organize a dedicatedevent with our African partners.

The preservation of our Oceans and Biodiversity will be a crucial testing ground for our environmental action in 2020. The UN Ocean Conference of Lisbon, the Summit on Biodiversity and the COP 15 of the Convention on Biodiversity, are crucial appointments for the future of our planet. I am honored to have the responsibility, together with Ambassador Carazo Zeledón of Costa Rica, to facilitate the negotiation process on the Biodiversity Summit.

Mr President,

the United Nations should lead by example the efforts of the International Community to preserve the environment. In this respect I would like to reiterate my Country’s commitment – also a co-chairs with Bangladesh of the Group of Friends for Leading on Environmental Management in the Field – to continue supporting the UN in reducing the environmental footprint of its operations worldwide.

Mr. President,

we appreciate the emphasis you have placed on the protection of human rights, and commend the particular attention you intend to devote to inclusion, education, and the empowerment of women and youth. The 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the 20th anniversary of UNSC resolution 1325 call upon us to work relentlessly to achieve gender parity for the sake of peace and prosperity for all.

In this crucial year, we have to be ready to “push back the push back” – to sue the words of the Secretary-General– and refuse to back track on women’s rights, including Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights. We will not accept any attempt to hinder or reverse this progress: we will work to make sure that we further advance on this path, and that all women, especially those in the most vulnerable situations, have full access to their rights.

On reform and revitalization, , Mr President, I would like to reiterate Italy’s support for the important reforms that the General Assembly has launched aimed at making the UN more capable to face today’s challenges. In this context, I wish to reaffirm we believe in the central role of the General Assembly – true beating heart of our Organization.Within the overall reform of the United Nations, the reform of the Security Council holds a special place. To enhance the Council’s authority and its effectiveness, we must aim for a new, expanded Council that is more transparent, more representative, more democratic and, most of all, more effective. This will make it more accountable to the wider membership and to the General Assembly, it will bolster its legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and it will improve its ability to deliver effective solutions for the maintenance of international peace and security.

I thank you.