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United Nations General Assembly


United Nations General Assembly

renzi unga nuova


71st UN General Assembly – General Debate
(20 September – 30 September)


Prime Minister Matteo Renzi addresses General Debate, 71st Session United Nations General Assembly (Video)




The General Debate, marking the opening of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, will begin on 20 September at 9:00am, and will continue for the following two weeks until closing on Friday September 30th. The Summit on Refugees and Migrants will be held on Monday 19 September.

Prime Minister Renzi, as the Head of Delegation, Foreign Minister Gentiloni, Minister of the Interior Alfano, and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Amendola will be representing Italy.

As is the custom, a parliamentary delegation will follow the work of the session as observers led by the President of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Senator Casini, and by the President of the Chamber of Deputies Committee on Foreign Affairs, Honorable Cicchitto. Other members of this delegation are the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies Lanzillotta, Senator Caleo, Honorable Manciulli, and Honorable Pini.
The Prime Minister’s national statement at the General Debate is scheduled for the evening of 20 September. Prime Minister Renzi will also be speaking at the plenary session of the Summit for Refugees and Migrants, in the late afternoon of Monday 19 September.

As with every year, the Debate in the General Assembly will be flanked by a series of events and meetings (inside and out of the UN Headquarters) on the most current political, economic and social issues, and by an agenda packed with bilateral meetings for all of the members of the Government and Parliamentary delegations, first and foremost Prime Minister Renzi and Minister Gentiloni.
Some of today’s most compelling issues will be the focus of the work of the General Assembly: Italy believes, in particular, that having the opening of the 71st UNGA devoted to migration issues is significant, positive news.
US President Obama has organized a Summit for 20 September focusing on refugees, while on 21 September a ministerial event will be hosted by Italy on the regional dimension of the phenomenon of refugees and migrants along the Europe-Mediterranean-Middle East and Africa corridor.

There will be many further meetings on the topic: the General Debate is in fact preceded on 19 September by a “Summit on Refugees and Migrants” with thematic roundtables.

On Wednesday 21 September, Minister Gentiloni will co-chair a ministerial meeting on the situation in Somalia, together with his UK, Ethiopian, and Somalian counterparts. Also participating in the event will be the UN through Assistant Secretary-General Eliasson, the African Union, the EU and another 24 States, bringing together Somalia’s main partners (donors and troop contributors to AMISOM).
During a meeting on Thursday 22 September, the Foreign Ministers of Jordan and Italy and the Directors of UNESCO (Bokova), UNODC (Fedotov) and INTERPOL (Stock) will be presenting their project on the protection of cultural heritage and combatting criminal and terrorist groups, which was launched during last year’s UNGA. The project was developed through three technical meetings tackling the identification of areas of origin, types of trafficking, legal and illegal markets. A paper will be distributed summarizing the work completed. It includes references to vital documents and proposes a series of possible positive actions.

The Hon. Minister will be attending the ceremony for the deposit of instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement organized by the UN Secretariat for the morning of Wednesday 21 September, which serves as a follow-up to the April signing event in which Prime Minister Renzi had signed the Agreement.

The Antimicrobial Resistance Summit will be held on Wednesday 21 September. The event will be centered on this rapidly growing emergency healthcare issue, long signaled by the WHO. A political statement recently negotiated in New York will be adopted at the Summit, committing States to international efforts on this front and to establishing a control and verification mechanism thereof. Italy will be represented by Raniero Guerra, Director General of the Ministry of Health.
With regards to the Middle East, attention will focus mainly on Libya, Syria, Iraq and on the Israeli-Palestinian question.

On Wednesday 21 September there will be an event on the death penalty that Italy has organized together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Argentina and France. The meeting will be opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and discussions will center on the victims of capital punishment, with prominent speakers from the world of academia and civil society, among which a victim of a miscarriage of justice. The event will also see the launch of a compiled publication on this OHCHR issue.

Italy will also host on Thursday 22 September a side event on the role of women in peace negotiations, security and international mediation. The event called, “A New Agenda for Women, Peace and Security and Mediation”, will be an opportunity for Italy to reaffirm its commitment in two fundamental areas of the UN peace and security architecture, also in light of Italy’s joining the Security Council on 1 January 2017. Discussions will thus be centered on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, established by Security Council resolution 1325 of 2000, and on Mediation, the instrument of preventive diplomacy, which Italy supports within the United Nations also through annual voluntary contributions to the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat. The event has been organized by the Netherlands, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, Spain and UN Women. Foreign Minister Gentiloni and his counterparts from the co-sponsor Countries will be taking the floor.