by G.Errico with Marco Volpato

NEW YORK. Italy will sit on the Security Council in 2017 and Monaco reiterates the country’s support for the Security Council’s sessions. Italy has presented its candidacy for a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2017-2018 term. The elections have been held during the Summer 2016 and Italy will sit on the Security Council from 1 January 2017 after reaching an agreement with the Netherlands to split the seat as non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.  “With this proposal we want to send a message of unity between two European Countries, as it was prompted by the perfect 95 to 95 parity in the last vote,” said Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in New York. “We will serve one year each,” added Minister Gentiloni while announcing that Italy will be the first to hold the Security Council seat in 2017 and will cooperate with the Netherlands during the following year. Since its accession in 1955, Italy has been a key member of the UN, contributing to the strengthening of multilateralism, one of the mainstays of the foreign policy. Italy is the top Western contributor of blue helmets and is among the top ten contributors to the UN’s regular and peacekeeping budgets. Italy is deeply committed to the stabilization of crisis areas and to the protection and promotion of human rights and sustainable development. As the only Mediterranean candidate for the 2017-2018 term, Italy aims at contributing an added value by giving voice to the priorities of the environment and of developing countries. As stated by Prime Minister Renzi at the opening of the 70th UNGA, “Building tomorrow’s peace” will be the key objective of Italy at the UNSC.

As the first blue helmet contributor among Western countries, the Italian peacekeeping model is focused on an integrated civilian-military approach, which puts humanitarian concerns, the empowerment of local communities and the quest for a political solution and reconciliation at the forefront of international action, including in the field of predeployment training, an area of established Italian expertise. Italy shares the belief in the urgency of reinforcing the UN’s role in prevention and mediation and will continue to promote the swift deployment of mediation teams and “early warning” mechanisms to strengthen the UN’s capacity to prevent and halt atrocity crimes. Italy is at the geographic forefront of the emergence of radicalization and violent extremism and is fully engaged in the international effort to defeat Da’esh, including through its coleadership of the Counter-ISIL Finance Group. Italy is proactively committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, starting with its progressive increase of funding for international cooperation and within the EU. Italy’s engagement in highlighting the potential and valuable contribution of migrants and refugees to both the destination and departure countries, based on a responsible and humanitarian approach, offers an effective response model for this increasingly global and multi-faceted challenge. Access to energy is a crucial factor for promoting sustainable development. Renewable energy together with energy efficiency is at the core of Italy’s energy policy. Today one third of Italy’s energy needs are met by renewables and Italy ranks among the leading countries for investment in the solar industry in the small-scale deployment of renewables. Italy introduced a National Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in 2015 and is among the most convinced contributors to the success of the December 2105 COP21 conference in Paris. Italy is therefore ready to ensure that the Security Council’s activities take climate change into careful consideration, including its security, social, political and economic effects. Italy’s foreign policy is based on the protection and promotion of human rights, on the assumption that the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms for all individuals, particularly those living in poverty or otherwise excluded, is a key precondition for long-lasting peace, security and sustainable development. Italy’s priorities include the safeguarding of women’s and children’s rights, the promotion of freedom of religion or belief, the campaign for a universal moratorium on the death penalty. Italy believes that the inclusion of women as actors of change can boost progress in security and development. Italy supports the current review of the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Italy will continue to strive towards the elimination of all forms of violence, exploitation, trafficking and discrimination of women. The destruction and looting of cultural and historical sites (see Palmira photo below) is increasingly pursued as instrumental to the eradication of cultural identities and the radicalization of entire regions.

In support of the UNESCO “United4Heritage” campaign, Italy is promoting the creation of a readily mobilized task force, comprising experts from various fields to protect heritage sites both during and in the aftermath of peacekeeping operations. Italy is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and strongly supports the UN Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force and its mandate.

Together, we can strengthen the role of the UN system in upholding the cornerstones of the international fight against terrorism: building states’ capacity aimed at its prevention and ensuring that human rights and the rule of law are respected throughout the process. Italy aims to promote a “fit for purpose” UN System better prepared to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. In this respect, Italy is ready to contribute to further improving the UN Security Council’s working methods, allowing for more extensive consultations with Member States on a broader range of issues. Italy is ready to act as a bridge between the Council and Member States, ensuring that their individual and collective concerns are given appropriate consideration on the international agenda. One year ago, the terrorist attacks in Paris have left us all in deep shock and sorrow. In these days, Prince Albert II of Monaco confirms that it is necessary to clearly define and implement the Millennium Development Goals, which respond to the vital needs of all human beings. If the elimination of poverty remains the priority of the international community, then it is necessary that nations meet their obligations as the most destitute are also the ones who suffer from hunger and malnutrition, who have no access to water, and who do not benefit from social services or basic medical services.  Among the principal victims are women and children, including the 25,000 who die each day, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

On international cooperation, the Prince says that several hundred thousand people currently benefit from his country’s efforts in the areas of health, education and the fight against poverty.  In that regard, Monaco urged that the effort towards reaching the goal of devoting 0.7 per cent of GDP to development assistance between now and 2020 be pursued. Such development assistance need to be accompanied with long-term investments aimed at strengthening the capacities of developing countries, particularly through the transfer of appropriate technologies taking into account the imperatives of sustainable development. With the recent food crisis as background, it is necessary to give agriculture the priority it deserves since food security depends on it. It is necessary to create a “new deal” for future generations. In that regard, donors must become partners for a new green revolution in Africa where agriculture, adapted to the specific conditions of the continent, would facilitate the empowerment of local populations. In fact, an integrated management of water resources is mandatory. The international community must be aware of the disasters and potential conflicts that would arise if it failed to do so, and the risks linked to poor sanitation conditions susceptible to cause outbreaks of infectious diseases and pandemics. Noting that desertification and drought phenomena were exacerbated by climatic change brought about by man. The USA under the Trump’s Presidency must define a post-Kyoto Protocol agenda strictly in line with a low-carbon emission future. For too long, scientific warnings had been neglected.  The unparalleled mobilization of public opinion prompted the international community to adopt innovative measures to slow down the evolution of global warming. The world economy continues to be sorely tried and tested.  Although signs of recovery were beginning to show, conclusions needed to be drawn from the sombre 2016 year.  The globalization of the economy and the interdependence that resulted from it called for a crucial reform of the international monetary and financial system.  The last G-20 had acknowledged the urgency of measures to be taken to spare the world economy from catastrophe worsened by panic in the financial markets. Monaco is confident of the capabilities of the G-20 to lay out the basis for a new era.

HSH Prince Albert II said Monaco had been working for many months to fulfil the obligations it subscribed to and to comply with the required norms of OECD with a view to improve transparency and information exchange in fiscal and banking matters.  The breach of trust spawned by the financial debacle had more than ever made it necessary that the measures taken by the G-20 be non-discriminatory towards all United Nations Member States.  A consultative body would ensure the legitimacy of any decisions made. He said it was of utmost importance to strengthen the rule of law and democracy institutions that were the guardians of sovereignty and peaceful co-existence among States.  In that regard, Monaco supported implementation of the “responsibility to protect” as a symbol of the strengthening multilateralism in the service of all populations.  That responsibility did not affect the exercise of responsible sovereignty, which placed the individual in the forefront.   Monaco would keep on working with its partners in order to implement best practices in the areas of protection, international assistance and capacity building with the common objective to save lives. Moreover, during the September 2016 -71 session – Serge Telle, Minister of State of Monaco, said the world would see a steep rise in climate-induced migration in the coming decades.  In 2017, the number of climate refugees fleeing damaged ecosystems could increase to as many as 250 million, according to projections by the United Nations.  That issue is of monumental importance to Monaco and one of the reasons behind the State’s engagement in the 2030 Agenda and in the Paris Agreement, recently ratified together with 130 countries. Emphasizing the role of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), HIH Albert II said the Fund’s programmes had become more significant than ever before.  In a time when women were subjugated to perpetual sexual violence and discrimination, that organization’s work was indispensable.  In line with that, he reiterated his country’s support for the Security Council’s resolutions on women and security, and women’s vital role in peace building and peacekeeping.  Faced with a multitude of challenges in a contradictory world, those contradictions could be discussed and challenges could be resolved at the United Nations. Therefore, Monaco is wholeheartedly committed to multilateralism.  Although Monaco was responsible for a small portion of global emissions, the country had the ambition to be a leader in energy innovation.  It also had committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent in the year 2030 (from 1990 levels). Those transitions had and have a cost, but Monaco is convinced the price for a greener world is “minimal compared to the cost of non-action”.  In line with its support for green environmental policy, Monaco remains a loyal supporter of the Green Climate Fund.

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