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Statement by Italy at Security Council’s Debate “The role of Young Persons in addressing the security challenges in the Mediterranean”

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I thank Malta for convening this meeting and the briefers for their insightful interventions. Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union, and with that delivered by Cyprus, on behalf of the Group of EUMED9.

Mr President,

Youth populations all over the Mediterranean are asking for peace, prosperity and a more just and sustainable future. We should listen to their call. It is our common responsibility to create enabling environments that can allow youth to express their full potential and contribute to building more peaceful, prosperous and inclusive societies.

The first step in this direction should be the effective and meaningful participation of youth, including girls and young women, in decision-making. The full involvement of youth in democratic processes and in the definition and implementation of social policies should not be limited to the national sphere but should also be guaranteed at regional and global level.

Italy, therefore wishes, to reaffirm its commitment in advancing the implementation of the United Nations Youth Peace and Security Agenda. We are working closely with the recently established UN Youth Office and will continue to support the work of Assistant Secretary General Paullier in advancing youth issues across the UN System.

We also remain convinced of the essential role played by regional organizations, starting from the European Union and the Union for the Mediterranean, in promoting youth leadership and participation.

At the same time, we are aiming at drafting our first ever National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security. The document will be the result of a collective endeavor, based on a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach, in which youth-led organizations have a prominent role.

Mr President,

At this moment, when conflicts proliferate and multilateralism seems at stake, we should amplify the voice of our youth and enable young persons to become agents for positive change.

The Mediterranean Youth has already demonstrated its willingness and capacity to bring about innovative contributions to peacebuilding and to the fight against violent extremism.

We believe that more can and should be done to facilitate youth involvement in mediation efforts, as well as in the management of all phases of the conflict cycle, from prevention to post-conflict stabilization.

Youth in our region has also been on the forefront of climate action. Younger generations are particularly aware of the growing interconnections between climate change and security, in the Mediterranean and beyond.

Italy wishes to encourage an active role of youth in shaping transformative solutions to address climate change, particularly in the most vulnerable countries and communities.

With this in mind, Italy is co-leading, together with UNDP, the global initiative Youth4Climate, which aims at providing young people with the means and resources to implement projects to combat the climate crisis. The best practices developed through Youth4Climate are also going to be shared during the ongoing ECOSOC Youth Forum.

Mr President,

Let us garner the ideas and proposals shared during today’s debate to fully integrate the Youth Peace and Security Agenda objectives in the preparation process of the Summit of the Future.

I thank you.