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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Dibattito Aperto di Alto Livello

Discorso pronunciato dall’Italia al Dibattito Aperto di Alto Livello in VTC del Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace” —

Italy aligns itself with the statement submitted by the European Union.

Italy thanks Indonesia for organizing this high-level Open Debate of the Security Council on “Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace”.

The COVID-19 pandemic shows us the need to promote a coordinated and multilateral response. Global health remains a fundamental precondition for peace, stability and prosperity and interacts with the tripartite nexus peace-humanitarian-development.

This is the reason why, from the very beginning of this global emergency, Italy has strongly supported international solidarity, actively advocating for an international alliance to advance the research on a vaccine against COVID-19. Italy consistently promoted the priority of the universal and equitable access to the vaccine and other life-saving treatments like therapeutics and diagnostics, in order to leave no one behind.

We were proud to be among the promoters – in partnership with the EU and other key Partner Countries – of the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference on the 4th of May and of the following one on the 27th of June, which collected almost 16 billion euro for universal and fair access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to fight COVID-19. We were also among the pioneers of the COVID-19 ACT-Accelerator and the main contributors to the Covax Facility through the GAVI Advance Market Commitment, which will ensure access to the vaccine by the Developing Countries.

Italy believes that increasing our support to the most vulnerable Countries remain an absolute priority and we will promote such priority also in the context of the upcoming Italian Presidency of the G20, in 2021.

Together with its severe impact on public health, human rights and socio-economic conditions, the pandemic has aggravated the existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security, hampering the delivery of humanitarian aid where needed. A multi-dimensional crisis which requires a multidimensional approach and response from the UN, which is at the core of the sustaining peace agenda. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, we commend the UN Secretary General’s leadership and multiple initiatives to address the multi-faceted COVID-19 pandemic and we welcome the adoption of UNSC resolution 2532, calling for a global cease-fire.

In the coming months there are several priority areas in which Italy stands ready to contribute. In a state of emergency like the one we are experiencing, it is of paramount importance that everyone has access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. In this spirit, Italy is committed to support FAO, IFAD, WFP and all relevant UN actors in their efforts to prevent a global food crisis and has been promoting a Food Coalition through the FAO to mobilize expertise, provide policy support, establish a space for dialogue and promote initiatives focused on the creation of more resilient and sustainable food systems.

The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of fully implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. Women and girls have being particularly exposed to sexual and gender-based violence or to the unequal sharing of responsibilities. At the same time, women – who represent the majority of health workers – have been at the forefront of the response and will be the backbone of recovery in local communities. We must redouble our commitment to achieve gender parity and to ensure that women participate meaningfully in decision-making processes.

In these difficult circumstances, the UN peacekeeping operations have a special role to play in supporting local communities in their handling of the pandemic. The support TCCs and PCCs have provided to local communities, as in the case of our national contingent in UNIFIL, shows how peace operations could serve as a flexible tool to preserve peace and stability and how the A4P initiative has been a fundamental step forward in modernizing UN peacekeeping missions.

The unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 must be transformed into opportunities for sustaining peace at all levels, informing the review process of the peacebuilding architecture. In this regard, the upcoming Peacebuilding Architecture Review should stress, among other things, the importance of further strengthening the existing partnerships between the UN and various international financial institutions and regional organizations, to develop coherent and comprehensive responses to complex and inter-related challenges. In this effort, it is crucial to involve also local communities and the private sector. Only a truly concerted effort at the global level will be effective in dealing with the consequences of the current crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic must push further our research for a whole-of-system response based on coordination, partnerships and flexible use of existing platforms. The Peacebuilding Commission – which, under its current Chair, has proactively adapted its programme of work in order to address the challenges of the current situation – and a better financed Peacebuilding Fund have a crucial role to play in supporting a conflict sensitive international response to the pandemic, supporting efforts by local communities, and fostering a coordinated peacebuilding response to COVID-19.

Italy remains committed in providing its contribution to the current discussions on the review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. We must avoid that hard-won gains in peace, security, developments and human rights may be reversed. Our collective effort in tackling the effects of the pandemic must remain focused on advancing our peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda.