Tout d’abord, je vous remercie pour avoir organisé le debat d’aujourd’hui. Je remercie aussi le Secrétaire Général adjoint pour son briefing, ainsi que Monsieur Yuri Fedotov, Monsieur Jean-Paul Laborde et les autres relateurs pour leur contributions.
Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union and fully supports the statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in light of our cooperation related to the upcoming split mandate in the Security Council.In the Security Council 2017 and 2018, Italy and the Netherlands will continue their sustained efforts for more effective peacekeeping operations and encourage other countries to join us.
In presenting my condolences for the victims of yesterday's attack against MINUSMA, allow me to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives serving under the UN flag in peace operations: 50 of them are Italians.
As the first blue helmet contributor among Western countries and 8th overall contributor to the regular and PK budget, Italy considers its peacekeeping partnership with the United Nations a strategic one.
Also thanks to the experience gained in UNIFIL, Italy believes we have powerful tools at our disposal to pursue the goal of adapting our PK operations to new and evolving threats. The recommendations contained in the HIPPO report and the work carried out in C34 will helpfully guide us.
First of all, a truly integrated approach is necessary both at the UN and on the field to make sure our complex effort is holistic and yet focused, thus leveraging coherently the whole spectrum of UN activities in a country. In this respect, we appreciate the establishment of the Police Planning Unity in the Secretariat. While partnerships within the UN system and with contributing countries are critical, we believe that the most crucial partnership is that with the local Authorities and communities, which must be supported.
Secondly, pre-deployment training is crucial and the main thrust for ensuring a thorough and holistic implementation of Missions mandates, promoting an effective protection of civilians and ensuring the highest moral and operational standards. Through programs offered by CoESPU (Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units), the Italian Carabinieri have trained to date almost 10.000 units, both in English and in French, coming from around one hundred different countries and 16 international and regional organizations.
Third, more must be done to support regional organizations, especially in Africa, through training and assistance, including by pursuing synergies between the United Nations and the European Union. Our common capacity-building effort must expand beyond traditional peacekeeping goals, and be enhanced to provide for essential skills in sectors such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), techniques to counter violent extremism, national reconciliation and the Reform of Security Sector (SSR).
One valid example of this approach is Italy’s contribution to the European Gendarmerie Force’s role in MINUSMA’s Security Organized Crime Support Unit. This is an important effort, given that the mission in Mali epitomizes the complexity of the asymmetric threats peacekeeping has to face and our response.
Fourth, as asymmetrical tactics oftentimes aim at denying cultural identities, Italy is on the front line to ensure the protection of cultural heritage in crisis situations. We believe this is a crucial component of our peacekeeping commitment, not only with the necessary goal of protecting human rights, but also as a substantial contribution to conflict prevention and reconciliation efforts and in preserving rights and the identity of minorities.
Lastly, Italy strongly believes in the need for flexible mandates and adequate equipment, especially with a view to ensuring the most appropriate technological solutions to the specific, evolving context and threat. From the basic protecting gear to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that have proved key to saving civilian lives, as it has been the case with the deployment of drones in MONUSCO, assets and capabilities need to be integrated in a targeted strategy.
Mr. President, let me conclude by reminding that Italy believes our primary focus must remain political solutions to crisis. Avoiding conflict is the only smart and humane choice. We need to engage more in mediation and prevention if we are to defeat the causes underlying the very emergence of asymmetrical threats. UN capabilities in such sectors should be strengthened, and I confirm Italy’s longstanding commitment in this respect.
I thank you.