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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Dibattito Aperto su “Peacebuilding and Sustainable Peace”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Italia al Dibattito Aperto del Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Peacebuilding and Sustainable Peace.” —

We thank the Kenyan Presidency of the Security Council for organizing this timely Open Debate and express our appreciation to the briefers for their insightful remarks.

There is nowadays an increasing awareness that peace and security issues have to be addressed through a multidimensional and integrated approach, paying due consideration to the concept of peace continuum and to the peace-humanitarian-development nexus.

Peaceful prevention and the negotiated settlement of disputes are the most cost-effective tools to promote peace and security. In order to be successful, these processes need to be genuinely inclusive, encompassing all parties and all actors of national communities.

Women’s participation, in particular, is crucial to guaranteeing such inclusivity. There is plenty of evidence that, when women are meaningfully involved, peace talks are more likely to address root causes and yield more sustainable results. Notwithstanding this reality, women remain underrepresented, if represented at all, in peace process efforts, in spite of their constructive contribution to conflict resolution at grassroots level. In the last few years, Italy has stepped up its efforts to mainstream the participation of women in peace processes in all our relevant policies and activities. We are strongly engaged in consolidating our Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, which responds to the pressing need to foster women’s participation in peace processes, mediation efforts and peacebuilding in a region that is key for global peace and stability. Launched in 2017, the network brings together a multigenerational group of more than 60 qualified women mediators from 21 countries from all the shores of the Mediterranean area and provides for training, capacity building as well as networking opportunities. We are very proud of the results the network has achieved so far: new members joined, the first three local antennas – in Cyprus, Turkey and Kosovo – were established and new ones shall open in the near future.

Religious leaders and NGOs also play an essential role in fostering the prospects for peace and promoting dialogue and reconciliation, as their unique position enables them to engage and represent large segments of society. A notable example is the support provided by the organization “Comunità di Sant’Egidio” to the Central African Republic peace process, which aims at favoring reconciliation while ensuring accountability. The work of the Italian NGO “Rondine Cittadella della Pace” is another testimony of the important contribution that the so-called “second-track diplomacy” can bring to conflict prevention, education to peace, and the promotion of human rights.

Even after peace is achieved on the ground, with the cessation of hostilities and violence, reconciliation must be constantly nurtured and consolidated. Long-term peace requires dialogue and trust building initiatives. It is a complex and delicate process that takes time and cannot be rushed. It must be nationally owned and not imposed. It must take place at all levels, from national to grassroots, and be socially and gender inclusive. In order to foster the prospects for sustainable peace and reconciliation in crisis contexts, it is key to ensure that all segments of society are able to get their voices heard and contribute to shape the future of the society they live in.

In some cases, effective peacebuilding processes depend on well-managed transitions from peacekeeping operations. Therefore, exit strategies should be clearly outlined in missions’ mandate, based on a realistic analysis of the goals the mission is supposed to achieve, in close cooperation with the Government of the host Country and with the meaningful involvement of national and local actors. In this respect, implementation of recently adopted Resolution 2594 (2021), the first-ever stand-alone resolution on the transition that follows the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping missions, is key.

Italy also shares the concern for the dangerous impact that disinformation, fake news and hate speech can have in contexts of crisis, including through the new digital technologies on the internet and in the social media. Consistently, we support the UN action in combating hate speech, in particular through the implementation of the relevant UN Strategy and Plan of Action launched in 2019.

Finally, it must be considered that conflicts and crises are increasingly interrelated with the deterioration of social, economic and environmental conditions. According to the World Bank, by 2030 almost half of the world’s poor will be residing in countries affected by fragility, conflict or violence. Therefore, it is more and more essential to accompany all initiatives related to conflict prevention and mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding with parallel and adequate commitments to addressing the root causes and long-term drivers of instability in the field of sustainable development.