Since becoming a member of the United Nations on December 14, 1955, Italy has always looked to the Organization as a guidepost for its action in foreign policy and never failed to offer its contribution.
On the 60th Anniversary of Italy’s joining the UN, our contribution to achieving the objectives set out in the Charter continues to be unconditional. We are the seventh top contributor to the regular budget and, among Western Countries, the top troop contributor to peacekeeping operations. Italy is host to the third largest UN hub, following New York and Geneva: from the food hub in Rome – headquarters of FAO, IFAD and the WFP – to the Logistics Base of Brindisi and the UN-system Staff College-Training Center based in Turin.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has visited Italy fourteen times during his mandate. On various occasions he has expressed the UN’s gratitude to Italy for its support in achieving the fundamental objectives of the Organization: maintaining international peace and security; development; the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
With these credentials, in 2009 Italy presented its candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2017-2018 term. Our Country has been a member of the Council for six previous terms (1959/1960; 1971/1972; 1975/1976; 1987/1988; 1995/1996; and 2007/2008). Our action is inspired by the values, interests and unique characteristics of the approach that distinguishes Italy’s multilateral action.
The elections will be held in the General Assembly in June 2016. The campaign hinges on Italy’s contribution to the international community: its recognized ability to listen and mediate (also through major Italian civil society organizations); its commitment to conflict prevention and dialogue as the main instruments of peace; its understanding of the dynamics of the Mediterranean - an area destined to remain the fulcrum of international policy for decades to come; and its promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law.
In presenting its candidature for the Security Council, Italy continues to contribute to enhancing its role as the UN body assigned to maintain international peace and security. A more democratic, representative, transparent and effective Security Council: these are the main principles inspiring a reform that has been awaited for more than twenty years. In practical terms, these principles have been conveyued through various proposals aimed at expanding the Council and modifying its composition; a change in its working methods and the regulation of its decision-making powers, first and foremost the veto; and a new balance in relations between the Council and the General Assembly.
Since the establishment of the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council reform in 1993, Italy has played a leading role in the international debate. In 1995, Italy helped to form the so-called “Coffee Club,” which numbered approximately fifty Member Countries who are opposed to the creation of new permanent seats in the Council. In 1998, at Italy’s Italian initiative, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that requires approval by a two-thirds majority, pursuant to Art. 108 of the UN Charter, also of procedural issues related to the reform. The resolution thwarting a coup de main of then President of the General Assembly and of OEWG Razali, who was in favor of the addition of new permanent members to the Council.
In 2005, Italy launched the “Uniting for Consensus” (UfC) movement, of which it is still the coordinator. Following the General Assembly’s 2008 decision to close the Working Group and enter into inter-governmental negotiations in 2009, Italy and Colombia presented a draft proposal for reform centered on the creation of a new category of long term seats and a change in working methods. Most recently, in 2014, in search of a compromise solution with Countries in favor of new permanent seats, Italy announced a further change to the negotiating platform agreed on with the other UfC Countries. The proposal now also envisages the possibility of immediate re-election of the Council members holding the long-term seats.