SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE
Peace and Security in Africa:
the impact of development policies in the implementation of the Silencing the guns initiative
30 March 2023
Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Italy, Ambassador Maurizio Massari
I thank Mozambique for convening this debate and the briefers for their interventions. Italy aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union and the statement to be delivered by Croatia on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.
Over the years this Council has identified the causes of conflict that are prolonging violence on the African continent. It was therefore only natural for the Council to welcome the Silencing the Guns initiative, which focuses on the drivers of conflict in Africa and acknowledges the urgent need to address them.
This initiative remains extremely relevant, as it recognizes that there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
Our support to the African Union pledge to “achieve the goal of a conflict free Africa” must be stated once more, in light of the ongoing crises that are heavily impacting the development perspectives of many countries and communities on the Continent.
Italy therefore remains committed, through multilateral action and bilateral support, to contribute to the ongoing international and regional efforts to silencing the guns in Africa.
We deem important to pursue a comprehensive approach that encompasses development cooperation, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. International support should not be limited to addressing ongoing emergencies, but should also tackle structural challenges and root causes of conflict, such as poverty, food insecurity, social exclusion, absence of rule of law and violent extremism.
In this context I would like to highlight three issues that could benefit from a more concerted action.
First, on poverty and hunger eradication, we wish to emphasize the importance of supporting key initiatives to foster inclusive socio-economic development in Africa.
The African Continental Free Trade Area, for example, has the potential to catalyze the economic transformation of the African continent and promote the creation of more and better jobs. We would also like to highlight the essential role played by resilient food systems to combat food insecurity and enable sustainable growth. To this end Italy, together with the UN, will host the Stocktaking Moment of the Food Systems Summit in Rome next July.
On achieving peace through justice and strong institutions, it is paramount to promote participatory decision making, to increase transparency and accountability and restore trust in public institutions.
Accelerating the implementation of SDG 16 means also engaging civil society, women and the youth to promote a culture of peace. Here as well Italy is engaged with UN DESA and IDLO in promoting an inclusive dialogue within the UN System, with the annual SDG16 Conference in Rome.
Further and lastly, on combating violent extremism, strengthening regional cooperation and institution building to counter the terrorist threat is of crucial importance. The evolving threat of terrorism remains a grave concern and constitutes a major obstacle to the building of a peaceful and prosperous Africa.
Italy, together with Morocco, Niger and the United States is currently co-chairing the Africa Focus Group of the Anti-Daesh Coalition, a civilian-focused counterterrorism effort intended to enhance the capabilities of African members of the Coalition. Italy also supports the activities of the regional offices in Africa of the United Nations Office of counterterrorism.
I would like to conclude by congratulating Mozambique for its successful term as President of the Security Council.
I thank you.